I have recently finished the book, It Worked For Me, by Secretary Colin Powell, Four Star General, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State.
I have long appreciated his approach to diplomacy and civility.
In the book, there is a chapter entitled Kindness Works.
Here is just a short segment from the book that for me is a great life lesson.
Allow me to set it up.
As Secretary of State, Secretary Powell wandered down to the parking garage where daily the garage was packed with cars three deep.
If you were the third car back you simply had to wait at the end of the day until the other cars with their owners left.
Secretary Powell out of curiosity asked the attendants how they determined which cars went where each day.
Because the attendants had never seen a Secretary of State, much less met and spoken with one they hesitated, and then they responded with this explanation on how it worked.
“Mr. Secretary,” on of them said, “it kinda goes like this. When you drive in, if you lower the window, look out, smile, and you know our name, or you say, ‘Good morning, how are you?’, or something like that, you’re number one to get out. But if you just look straight ahead and don’t show you even see us or that we are doing something for you, well, you are likely to be one of the last to get out.”
Secretary Powell thanked them, smiled and made his way back to his office.
There is a lesson there as you interact with people.
“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 6:24
Kindness invested will always bring about a return dividend.