Category Archives: Friends

The Most Forgotten Element of Success

I have only been able to read a little information on this topic.  The reason why is, it seems most people don’t talk about it or at least they don’t package their writing around this subject.  There are 2 books that will help you, the Bible and a book by Deborah Norville.   The topic is respect.

The test had been announced in advance, which meant the students had the chance to study and come well prepared.  Test papers were handed out, and the college exam commenced.  The room was silent except for the scratching of pencils and the occasional tapping of a pencil as students tried to figure out an answer. Until the last question.  One by one, as students reached the end of the test, they read the final question with consternation.  Some grunted in disgust.  One student exclaimed, “Your kidding, right?”  Another asked,” Does the last question count toward our grade?” It had to be a joke.  “Yes it does,” replied the teacher, somewhat tersely.  When all the papers had been handed in, the professor finally explained.  The last question was,    ” What is the first name of the man who cleans our school?”  Virtually every student had been stumped.


The teacher’s point was as you go through life you will meet many people and all of them are important.  We go through life so hurried and in a rush that we fail to recognize people or even give them a nod, a glance, or dare I say a smile.  Every subtle acknowledgment of another human being puts a little deposit in their soul.  You have walked past someone at the gym or a store and if they give you  a head nod or a “hey,” for some reason it makes you feel better.  Every once in a while we go out to eat at these “fu-fu” restaurants.  The ones that have a water person, bread person, and then the waiter.  If we say hi to the water guy he almost doesn’t know what to say.    He will stutter a little…..”Hi”   back to us.                Dr Goldstein says,” You have to have a good self-image of yourself and if you don’t you disrespect yourself and others around you.”  So that means we need to work on ourselves the most and it will grow our respect for others automatically.


Some people are great with people they don’t interact with regularly but they aren’t so good with the people that they see on a regular basis.  I think this paragraph from Deborah Norville sums up how we should think about the people in our lives.

Respect requires empathy, the capacity to anticipate and understand the feelings of others.  It requires consideration.  It is letting the Golden Rule shape the way we interact.  It’s being mindful to see a situation from others perspective.  When respect is given it communicates to the recipient of the respect that he is valued and important.

If you go through your day and are so busy thinking about how someone treated you, what they said to you, what you thought they should have said to you, or they should have let you go first.  Then by default you are violating the point from Deborah’s paragraph.  If you are only thinking about yourself, it is impossible to anticipate or understand how someone else feels.  If you don’t understand that all humans are naturally selfish and sinful creatures, then you will have a hard time having empathy when some one does something stupid.

I have to admit that this is a pet peeve of mine.  Not that it makes it more important it just really annoys me when I see someone not even hold a door for the next person. Or cut their way in front of other people.  Every plane ride I take someone from 4 rows back tries to push their way to the front past all the other people standing in front of them.  AAAGGGGHHHHHH!  Those are the moments when my Saginaw side comes out and I just want to clock ’em in the head. But I believe that would violate everything I just wrote about 🙂

Let’s at least agree to try everyday to do the simple respectful things.  Hold doors, smile, say hi (they wont bite), let someone go in front of you,  shake hands,  pick up what that person dropped, help them lift that heavy bag, give your seat up for a woman, serve someone.  It’s not that hard.  I know we can do it.  Lets change the respect of our society one person at a time.

God Bless