There is an old joke that goes like this: Why don’t sharks (or snakes) bite attorneys? The answer: professional courtesy! While it may be true that the reputation of attorneys is somewhat deserved, I can honestly say that for most of my career, my interactions with most attorneys were cordial, professional and ethical. As time has passed, I have observed that the level of professionalism amongst attorneys has begun to drop. It is an unfortunate reality that I have observed the same dynamic at work in our society as a whole.
We could go on for hours discussing the socioeconomic realities that are at play driving these trends. There are a lot more of us, the money does not flow as freely as it once did, morals have degraded, and so on. If we see the problem, we have an obligation to try fix it. Otherwise, we become part of the problem. The answer to the problem is not in politicians, more rules or better rules. The solution is in each one of us. The solution is for individuals to say enough is enough. It really is as simple as just treating people the way you want to be treated.
So, if someone is a little short with you at the drive-thru, smile and say thanks. Whatever you are doing for someone else, do it the best you possibly can. Treat others with respect, even if you don’t think they deserve it. Be honest. Be kind. Listen. Go ahead and give a dollar to that panhandler and who cares if they spend it on booze. Maybe even give the waiter/waitress an extra $5 for a tip. A friend of mine used to say, if I can make someone’s day for a buck, why wouldn’t I do that? Lets make that our motto, only maybe we should adjust it for inflation.
Happy Thanksgiving from Willis Spangler Starling!!