Jackie Robinson once said, “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
When I was growing up, my parents gave me and my sisters a lot of leeway. They never said that we needed to be a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant (although both of my sisters eventually became accountants). Nor did they recommend who we should marry or what kind of friends we should have. But they were adamant about one thing: show respect to everyone.
My dad was never shy in giving me the belt if I showed any disrespect to anyone, no matter what the circumstances and no matter where we were at.
And my mom always said, “If someone disrespects you, that is their problem. You ALWAYS show respect to others.”
When I started my company, I wanted to be crystal clear that showing respect was of the utmost importance. Respect would be the cornerstone of the firm and be embodied by all the employees from the newbie all the way to the CEO.
What I did was write up a to-do / to-be list of respectful things we can do everyday at work, at play, at home; and with our colleagues, with our friends, and with our family. This became the basis of our company credo.
In our company credo, we have over 30 items. In this post, I’ll share with you the top 3 …
1. Be tolerant of others and like everybody.
I don’t have to tell you that 99% of the problems we have in our world is because of our intolerance to each others differences. Drives me crazy when I see, read or hear about people hurting others based purely on the differences of their skin color or religion or gender. CRAZY!
So don’t discriminate based on race, gender, religion sexual orientation or favorite basketball team.
“Now, red, white, black, tan, yellow, or brown / It really doesn’t matter, we can all get down.” – Digital Underground’s Doowutchyalike
Also try to listen to others with an open mind. I know we are human, so we will have pre-conceived notions and certain prejudices, but try. You might be surprised by what you hear. And if you don’t agree or don’t like it, that’s cool, at least you tried.
2. Open doors for others and smile.
It’s not just an act of helping another through the door but the act exemplifies courteousness and a regard for others. It shows that you care for your fellow person – something we need more of these days.
Plus it’s really easy to do: extend your arm and pull or push (depending on which side of the door you are on).
“Real success is not on the stage, but off the stage as a human being, and how you get along with your fellow man.” – Sammy Davis Jr.
Other things I advocate are …
Say “thank you” to show gratitude;
Say “excuse me” to be polite;
Be a gracious loser; and
A humble winner.
And speaking of winning …
3. Get healthy, stay fit and win.
Showing respect for yourself is just as important as respect for others. Getting and staying healthy is one of the best things you can do for yourself – respect for your body and mind.
In 2008, I went for a checkup and received a scary medical report: my blood pressure was up, my bad cholesterol was also up, and my heart and stamina were down. Not good. This was the result of no exercise and an indulgence in fatty foods. The checkup woke me up; realized I was disrespecting myself by not taking care of my body.
Decided to turn it around and started to swim, bike and run. As I entered my 40s, I started to compete in triathlons and ran 10K and half marathon races. I’ve always loved sports and the races and competition motivated me to continue a healthy lifestyle. And I did get healthier. And I stopped falling sick. I slept better and my general mood became brighter.
And I believe that respecting myself by getting in shape enabled me to be more respectful to others.
Also do not neglect the mind. Read more; pay attention to world events; take a class; learn from others; appreciate art; write a blog.
And some other basic do’s and don’ts …
Be on time. Maintain your composure. Be patient. Be encouraging. Be positive. And keep your promises.
Don’t be rude. Don’t lose your temper (“grace used pressure”). Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal.
Like most things that are worthwhile, it will take effort. My mom (and Audrey Hepburn) used to always tell me, “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’.”
If you like this article, please share with your loved ones and friends. And if you have any comments or questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.