The way that we show people respect vastly differs depending on how well we know the person we are showing respect to. How many times have you been in an arguement with someone (your significant other, your parents, a teacher, etc…) when you’ve the topic of conversation was respect, or lack thereof? Do you consider, as your walking down the sidewalk or through a store, how much respect that you are showing to those around you?
I moved to Vancouver 6 months ago. It rains here, a lot!! This means that people are consistently carrying umbrellas around with them on their daily escapades. Walking down the street, towards other pedestrians with umbrellas I move to make room for our umbrellas to pass…somehow, the space that I’ve created is never enough and I’m forever being bonked on the bean by my own umbrella pole.
I take public transit daily and am forever seeing fully capable, but lazy, people occupying the “reserved” section of the bus at the front and making no effort to move when someone who truly needs to use the seats (someone who is in a wheelchair, is pregnant or travelling with small children, an elderly person, etc…) boards the bus. I fully understand wanting to sit on your ass in the early morning on your way to start your day or on the way home after a long day of work, but seriously, consider the people that are around you…..LOOK at the little tiny old lady who is having problems standing on the moving bus while you’ve got your fully capable strong legs stretched out and your having a relaxing bus ride home.
I work retail. Everyday people walk through the door of my shop to look at what I’ve got to peddle to them. I’m not pushy and don’t make extravagant efforts to pressure people into buying things that they aren’t interested in or don’t need. This, however, doesn’t stop the rude behaviour/comments that generally comes to those who try to shove their products/services down peoples throats. When I welcome you to the store by saying “Hello” and asking you how you are or how your day is going, I’m just being nice. The respectable response is to reply with a “Hello” of your own and tell me how you are doing…that is all! Ignoring me is not going to make me “go away”, nor is it going to put me in a super-fantastic mood! Consider checking yourself before acting like a complete ass to people in retail positions, we’re getting paid peanuts to put up with your crap! I don’t really care if “Sally” at the store up the street gave you shitty service today or if “Billy” at the grocery store was a dick this morning, that’s not my fault…nor should you make it my problem! You’re in a hurry? Well, that sucks! Maybe you should come back at a better time! Parking meter is running out of time? Go plug it with some change and come on back…I’m not going anywhere! Be mindful of how your actions and words make you look! Don’t fool yourself by thinking that I won’t call you a bitch under my breath as you walk away…”A rose by any other name…”
Being the shy/reserved person that I am, I rarely, if ever, stop to inform people when they have been disrespectful to me. To that same end, I consider myself to be respectful of everyone around me and make a point to apologize when I have been the one to show disrespect. Am I expecting too much from the general public? Am I too nice? What do you do when you run into someone who is a complete self-centered prick who walks through life not caring what sort of impact they are making on those around them? On the flip side, do you try to be respectful of all the people you encounter on a daily basis?
Challenge yourself to curb your attitude when going about your daily routine! Don’t get me wrong, I realize that many people in the service industry are completely inept…give them a chance to show you that they are not before treating them worse than something you might scrape off the bottom of your shoe!