Knowledge Center


Article -> Treating Others with Respect

Date Added: February 2016

We all work with people we don’t always get along with. We avoid them. We are uncomfortable around them. They annoy us. This Hindu story may help put things into perspective.

Two Hindu men worshipped Prana, which means life force. One day, a poor man knocked on their door asking for food. “Do not bother us,” was the reply.

Another knock, followed by, “Tell me honored sirs, do you not know the world begins and ends with life force, and life force pervades the entire universe?”

“Of course we know this,” said the Hindu men. “Well then, if Prana pervades the entire universe, then he pervades me since I am part of the universe. He is also in this hungry body, which stands before you begging for food. In denying food to me, you deny it to the individual you serve.” replied the poor man.

Realizing the truth behind the poor man’s words, the door opened and they shared a meal together. By opening the door to someone seeking help they were not only serving that individual, but serving that whom they serve.

Relating this to those we work with is to acknowledge we all have different purposes; however, we are all connected. Connected through our faith. Connected through our employer. Connected through our work. Connected to sharing common goals to help each other and our organization achieve success.

While we do not all have the same goals, we are all connected to something greater than ourselves. This is the time of year when many people give up chocolate, caffeine, or other indulgences. We give up on bad things, which makes sense; although should we consider embracing things we could do more of?

James Martin, SJ summarized some items to embrace. Be kind. Honor the absent. Give people the benefit of the doubt. These are more difficult than giving up chocolate; however, they have a much larger impact on our connection to others.

When you are feeling annoyed or disturbed, ask yourself one question: Who do you serve? You will be amazed at how this triggers you to treat others better.

David Yeghiaian is committed to positively impacting the lives of others through faith, inspiration and leadership. Reach him at

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