This I Believe

Wynette - Fort Worth, Texas
Entered on January 30, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: humanism
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This I Believe

I believe that human beings should be handled with care. I believe that most people want to rise to the occasion. If you treat people with respect, you often receive respectful treatment in return.

It does not mean that you won’t ever be treated with disrespect, but acting respectful may be the only thing we really have left to offer each other.

My salaried work time has been spent working directly with people. We referred to them as “the public”. Whether you call them “the public” or “the customers” or “the patrons” or “the clientele” or “the patients” or “the consumers”, it all boils down to the same thing. “They” are not “us”.

Funny thing is– they are us. Most people don’t wake up in the morning planning to make trouble, but trouble comes to them. If you are in a position to help them with their trouble then you are blessed.

If you can repair that trouble while treating them with respect, then you are doubly blessed. This notion of “repair” leads me to my next point.

As a recently retired person I have spent much of the last 18 months catching up with neglected home repairs. I have a lot of respect for home repair professionals. I also have a lot of respect for family and friends who are “do-it-yourselfers”. I am not one of the latter.

What I want to say is that I believe the home repair industry is healthy and a marvel to behold. The fact that a person can come to your home, diagnose your need, resolve it, and leave your home in better shape is a wonderful thing.

For years I have recommended a certain appliance repair man to friends. Here are the characteristics that make him so valuable:

1. He keeps the relationship formal.

2. He is punctual and can usually provide same day service.

3. He gives all the facts—problem, cost of fix, cost of replacement, how long will the “fix” last.

4. He never leaves a mess.

5. His repair time is swift, his bill figured quickly, and his exit immediate.

Having unknown people in your home and on your property can be a daunting task. I have been pleasantly surprised with the way most of these have conducted themselves and at the level of their expertise.

I have a friend whose father is a surgeon. By hobby he is an antique aircraft enthusiast. He once told her that being a doctor was much like being an automobile mechanic in that you must know the different systems of the body and how they interact. I have often thought that analogy is a good one for anyone performing repairs.

Whenever an interaction occurs between human beings that is both productive and respectful, then we are all enriched.