Respect for Others
by: Dr Tony Alessandra | Source:

When I was in high school back in the 1960's, everyone always divided themselves into self-contained, often exclusive, groups.

These groups followed all the old cliches -- you had your greasers, your jocks, your nerds, your college prep kids, and your vocational kids -- and everyone was always careful to stay within their own group.

Although I was technically in the athletic group (or jocks) and the college prep group, I always tried to go out of my way to get along with everyone -- no matter what group they were associated with.

I always got good grades, so I fit in with the smart kids. I was born and raised in New York City, so I got along with the greasers. I tried to find my connection with everyone, which was not hard at all. After all, we were all high school kids -- we had plenty to bond over with the shared experience of going to the same school.

However, the reason that I was able to build on those commonalities -- the reason people from other groups were friendly back to me -- was that I treated everyone with respect. I never gossiped about the popular crowd, never teased or taunted the nerds.

I made an effort to see everyone's positive aspects, and I focused on those. In essence, I treated others the way they wanted to be treated, and it gave me the ability to adapt and be liked by just about everybody.

I have carried that philosophy throughout my whole life: I am as polite to a janitor as a CEO. As people, they both exist on the same level -- and both deserve the same amount of outward respect.

My mantra: "What goes around, comes around." What do you have "coming around" for yourself?