I was pleasantly surprised when a gentleman that I have known for ages got up to shake hands with me. I kept saying ,”Its alright… Please keep sitting…”. He was sitting at a table with 9 other people & it was awkward for him to stand & shake hands with me. But he did, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Then he said, “I have never greeted anyone sitting down.”
That got me thinking. Why a respectable gentleman – and I am proud to take his name here, Vice Admiral Muhammed Shafi HI (M) – would want to stand up & greet everyone that he meets. That would also mean (no, actually mean!)- standing up to greet people who are below him in stature or age etc. Because you would get up and greet people who are above you any way. Right?
If we think harder, a small gesture could change a lot – and for the better. Although I don’t think its a small gesture at all. Generally, the reason is that we Edge God Out (E G O!) from our lives and think of ourselves as superior beings, especially when we are blessed with a decent position, wealth or power.
Our ego makes us think:
– I am superior so why should I stand up? He should be the one who should!
– Now I am in a superior position than her, now I will teach her a lesson!
– He never greets me standing up, why should I bother?
– It won’t help my ‘image’ if I went to her & said hello.
– What will they think of me if they saw me smiling & greeting someone who is far below….
– Now he has to come to me & say hello because of where I am & he doesn’t have a choice!
It could sometime also mean sitting at one place and not roaming around because you want the other person has to come & greet you rather than vice versa.
Petty stuff that we all could live without. Life is too short & beautiful for these petty things to think about.
Bottom line: Our ego makes us feel that we rule the world & giving respect to people would make us look (or feel) inferior.
In fact, the opposite is true.
Lets talk about you.
If YOU meet someone who has airs about him (her!!) & who doesn’t greet you properly. Would you do something – anything – for him smilingly? Or with all your heart?
We have all watched hidden videos of badly treated waiters and how they grudgingly added ‘stuff’ to the food before serving them.
Isn’t that proof enough?
Or, for that matter, how YOU behaved behind someone’s back when they ‘forgot’ or ‘didn’t see you’ or deliberately ignored you?
Now, turn it around & think of yourself as always being nice – genuinely – or extra nice to people below you or people who you know could hardly help you in any way besides the work that they do for you. Do you think it will hurt you, your reputation or your relationship with them if you were a little kinder to them? A little warmer? A little less ‘bossy’?
Your relationship with that person can go only one way: UP. There will be more love & respect & the person will do whatever they do for you in a more cheerful, if not improved/profitable way. And imagine the free publicity you get when the person talks highly about you in front of your bosses, clients, friends or people who earlier thought negatively about you…
Now, lets look at at it from an entirely selfish perspective. And this quote says it all:
“Be nice to those you meet on the way up because you will need them on the way down!”
Do I need to say more about this one?
Think about the worst-case scenario if you begin respecting people below you. And see if you can handle that?
Usually things are in our minds & not real. Most of our fears are in our minds.
Get them out of your mind & live like a true human being.
We have life stories of all the leaders that have lived before us. Everyone perished. Only a few left a legacy. What would you want people to say about you when you are no more? (There’s a post on legacy that I wrote some time back. Check it out)
I am sure you must have come across these beautiful words. It couldn’t have been said more beautifully:
These are called
The Paradoxical Commandments
Love them anyway.
accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
will win false friends and true enemies.
be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Be honest and frank
with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the
Think big anyway.
follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few
building may be destroyed overnight.
may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the
best you have anyway.