Beware of little expenses. Small leaks will sink great ships.
-- Benjamin Franklin

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - April 2007

Getting along with others

Certainly there are things you can accomplish alone. And yet, there are many, many more accomplishments that will come from working with others. Certainly there are joys and insights to be found in solitude. There are many more joys and experiences, and much more knowledge to be gained from interacting with others. Each person in this world is unique, and still we all share things in common. That beautiful situation makes it both challenging and immensely rewarding to work, to play, to love and to live with others.

Life can be so much richer when we experience it in harmony with those around us. The other people in our lives can be the source of many of our greatest joys. They can also be the source of our most difficult problems. As such, it is crucial to the very quality of our lives that we make our relationships with others as positive as possible.

The quality of genuine fellowship, of positively sharing life’s experiences, of finding common ground, of working together with others, is something that can add value to every aspect of life. As with other things of value, relating successfully to others requires effort and commitment. While some relationships seem to grow effortlessly and naturally, others require some work to get going and to maintain. All positive, productive relationships deserve the effort and commitment necessary to keep them healthy.

Respect

Respect is the lifeblood of successful relationships. Where there is mutual respect, many positive and productive things can happen. Respect is evidenced not just by your words and thoughts, but primarily by your actions. Make your respect genuine by making it a part of everything you do.

Respect is often shown most clearly in the little things. Don’t interrupt people when they are talking. Include everyone in your conversations. Look others in the eye when they are speaking to you. These and other seemingly minor considerations for others can have a major impact on the level of respect in your relationships.

One of the most disrespectful things you can do is to waste someone else’s time. Being late is not a way to impress others with how busy and important you are. Being on time is a way to show respect for the precious time of others.

Your level of respect is evidenced not just by the respect you display toward those with whom you have close relationships, but also by the respect you show toward those with whom you come in contact on a casual or temporary basis. For example, being respectful and courteous toward a waitress in a restaurant also demonstrates respect toward those with whom you are dining.

Respect the intelligence and strength of others. Avoid talking down to people. Being condescending toward others will gain you nothing. Just because someone else doesn’t know or understand the same things you know, does not mean that that person is stupid. Rather than acting superior, take the time to carefully and respectfully explain what you’re talking about.


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—Ralph Marston