The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.
— Abigail Van Buren
This quotation is a wonderful reminder of the importance of humility and compassion. The first thought suggests that there are people with whom we come in contact who appear superfluous. Don’t fall into this big trap. Everyone with whom we come in contact does us good. Being humble, and measuring the value of each person as equal, will quickly reveal the importance of all persons who cross our path.
The second thought may be even more powerful. We all face moments in our lives when we feel defeated, trapped, or bullied. Having compassion for ourselves as well as for those around us reminds us of our vulnerability. Treating people with compassion, giving them encouragement whenever possible, and remembering our own frailties are attributes that separate successful and happy people from those poor souls who choose to go through life kicking and screaming, blaming and maiming, and generally being in the way of the rest of us.
I guarantee you that if we considered these two principles seriously, and implemented them into our daily business practice, our work environment would change as would our profitability.