Respecting Those Who Serve Us

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
Albert Einstein


Forty-five years ago I attended a sales conference for those who has attained a certain level of success. The keynote speaker one evening spoke passionately about how every one working for a living is worthy of our gratitude and respect. All work, great or small, provides a product or service that allows us to enjoy the comforts of life that many of us take for granted.

This speaker challenged everyone in attendance to examine our speech and behavior toward waiters, secretaries, coat checkers, bartenders, janitors, construction workers, street sweepers and garbage haulers. Then he asked us to examine our speech and behavior toward bankers, business owners, accountants, CEOs and doctors. He then asked the question: “Why do we treat the CEO better than we treat the waiter?”

To drive the point home he asked us which one’s work we would miss the most if the work that person provided was not provided for a month … the CEO or the guys who picked up the garbage in our neighborhood twice a week?

Obviously, no one wanted to live in a neighborhood in which the stinking trash had not been collected for a month.

Again, I heard this life lesson 45 years ago. I never forgot it. Every worker is providing a needed service to society. Hence, all workers are due our genuine respect and gratitude.


“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Martin Luther King Jr.


Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

Published by W. M. Brown

I am a retired U.S. expat living in Ecuador. I was a business owner for 32 years before retiring in 2012.

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