I believe my choice of words and actions towards others has a major impact on the way people look at me. Respect and good manners go a long way in our day and age and you’d be surprised how far it can take you. It can aid you in getting a new job or even keeping your current one. Ever since I was a child my parents constantly taught and reminded me how important respect and manners were. Like many other parents, my mom always told me, “Treat people with respect and you will receive the same respect in return.” Sometimes you can forget the concept and it can easily slip you mind. I began to question my own actions and comments by asking myself in almost every situation,” If I say or do this will I be out of line?” I am the type that doesn’t want to appear as a grouchy or disrespectful person. I make sure my words and actions do not offend anyone in my presence before I say or do them. Sometimes it’s the absence of words that can make or break you. One day a fellow co-worker had someone on the phone asking for me I told her to help the customer in a demanding demeanor but forgot to include the word “please.” I was so busy at the time that I didn’t realize I had disrespected her and told her to do something that she’s not required to. I finally realized what I had done after seeing her facial expression, so I approached her and immediately apologized. I let her know that I lost focus and it would never happen again. At that moment she said she lost any and all respect for me just because I left out that one word. She respected my choice to apologize instead of me just blowing it off. Simple phrases such as thank you, please, you’re welcome and even excuse me are small but powerful gestures when it comes to everyday interaction. People usually know me as Mr. Nice Guy and they know that I’m very polite. I try to practice what I preach on a daily basis and that’s probably one of the few times I disrespected any one. Respect is a two-way street and unfortunately does sometime tend to be the road less traveled. Whether or not I receive respect from other people does not prevent me from giving respect to others. Sometimes people are just in bad moods, having a bad day, or it simply slips their mind. I believe exercising these good manners and respecting others has made me an overall better person and certainly impacts the lives of people around me as well as my own in a positive way. The price for respect is respect itself.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.