Treat everyone with dignity and respect, all the time.
Welcome to week 146 of the AD Way and Fundamental #10!
What do a boss, a police officer and a drunk have in common?
Best be careful how you treat them.
Nobody needs an AD Fundamental to warn them about things that might get them fired, arrested or punched in the nose. Those lessons tend to teach themselves.
Nor do any of us need to spend more time learning to be nice to people who can help us or do us good. We’re pretty good at that already.
No. The purpose of this Fundamental, is to convey the message that we need to treat EVERYONE with respect and dignity. Everyone, ALL THE TIME . . . even when the consequences of how we treat them have zero benefit or downside to us. . . even if we don’t agree with them or like them.
Now that’s something that most of us don’t do.
If you’re like me, you probably treat people differently based on who they are, what they can or cannot do for you and whether you like them. And the reason is not only because being human we all fall short of our ideals. It’s because deep down we aren’t so sure it’s wrong.
The guy who cuts us off in traffic. The rude and incompetent waiter. The “friend” with the endless stream of political posts. The telemarketer calling during dinner. You treating them with much dignity and respect? Me neither. Do we feel bad about that afterwards? Sometimes.
We’ve been taught conflicting messages most of our lives.
There’s “Be kind and charitable to those less fortunate.” But there’s also, “Might makes right.” There’s “Do the right thing always.” But there’s also “The ends justify the means.” There’s “Turn the other cheek.” But there’s also, “If he pulls a knife, you pull a gun.”
Which way is better? Which way is right? The answer depends on what we believe about God and man.
For the record, we at AD do not treat anyone differently because of their beliefs. We have no test that anyone needs to pass or requirements for what one must believe. We respect all viewpoints. Promotions and hiring decisions are not based on one’s personal beliefs.
However, the root of many of our fundamentals, including this one, spring from the rich soil of faith. We strive to conduct our business (and lead our lives) based on the premise that life has purpose and consequences, even when those consequences are not readily apparent. We seek to treat each other and others (regardless of what they can or cannot do for us) based on the premise that we are all imperfect and part of God’s creation.
So yes, our goal is to treat everyone with respect and kindness all the time. Especially when we need to make a tough or unpopular decision.
We believe that it’s not only what we do that matters. How we do things matters, too. The ends do not justify the means. Sustained success comes only from a business or life built on a sound foundation of fundamentals.
And while none of us are living up to all our ideals every day, we are benefiting greatly from helping each other on the journey.
Have a great week,