Be decent to other people – always.
This cannot be understated. You may have a secure job today but do you know where you will be tomorrow? If you are good to others you will be rewarded when you need it.
I was downsized recently. Regardless of the circumstances there is a certain amount of depression and self doubt; however, a strong network of family, friends, and loyal business associates have helped to make this an uplifting experience.
I had the most pleasant experience the other day. My best friend came by for an early morning run. He offered to travel to a conference at his own expense to help introduce me to a number of senior people who would be at the conference. After our run I arrived home and within minutes a highly paid professional (who charges far more than what I would readily spend) was prepared to assist me at no cost. While I was on the phone with this professional another friend who had heard about my position stopped by the house and took me out for a coffee and iterated through a number of ways he was going to help me. On my way home from coffee I stopped by the dry cleaners to pick up some shirts. The dry cleaner commented that I was not at work in the middle of the week and we started chatting. By the end of our conversation she refused to take my money until I had a job. She probably needs the money more than I and I insisted that she take it. She refused and chased me on to the street. I remember joking with her that if anyone saw me fighting with an elder lady on the street I would end up in jail. With the cash in my hand she dodged back in to her little shop, and smiled and blew a kiss goodbye safe behind her locked door.
By 10am I had seen four solid examples of goodwill which I had accumulated over the years come back to help me in many priceless and unexpected ways. As for the dry cleaner – I still owe her the 30 bucks, and at least a good bottle of wine. In addition, everybody in my neighborhood that I have told this story to is now a client of hers.
Great story, hope it has a happy ending soon!
It just reinforces one of my favourite quotes:
"This is the final test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him."
- William Lyon Phelps
Obviously Adam, you are a gentleman. Good luck!
Adam, I couldn't agree more. You never know when or how kindness, generosity and willingness to help others will be repaid. Show respect for others no matter their background and you will get respect. Take an interest in "people" in the widest sense. Remebering to ask the lady at the local shop how her new grandchild is doing works wonders. Never stop to count the cost or constantly ask yourself "what's in this for me". No matter how difficult or dire the circumstances never "burn your bridges". You never know when you are going to need them. Life has many unpredictable twists and turns. An honest and open willingness to help others will often be repaid many fold. There will always be a few selfish people who may take advantage of your decency but they will only do it once and they will be the ones "left out in the cold" when the "winter comes"!