Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/17/2022
A few days ago I’m driving along one of my favorite back roads, alongside a creek, on my way to work out. I notice a school bus approaching at about two miles per hour, without its warning lights on. The driver in front of me is clearly perplexed and brakes, and I see a line of six cars behind the bus.
Finally, I see the cause: About 20 wild turkeys are meandering along on both sides of the road, eventually crossing from my left to my right. Turkeys cross only in single file for some reason, and they’re taking their sweet time. Everyone in the vehicles is having fun, some people are taking photos, and eventually we’re clear of the flock.
No one honked or tried to rush through, not the bus, or contractors in pickups, or the commuters. These turkeys can fly, but no one wanted to try to make them do so. We all honored their right to be there. (The last thing we need are speed bumps all along the road warning us of “turkey crossings.”)
I’m mystified why we can’t give each other the same patience and regard. Drivers are constantly tailgating. People militantly demand that a mask be readjusted instead of making a polite request. We scream at phone operators and fast food employees as if they are the creators of oidious corporate policies.
I take 30 seconds to wish the hard-working women at the Dunkin’ Donuts, who start their shift at 4 am in 4° weather these days, a nice day, instead of telling them they gave me the wrong order yesterday, which occasionally happens. They give me treats for the dogs. The dogs never complain about any treat they’re ever given.
Let me remind you that “humility” is not demeaning yourself but rather recognizing the dignity and worth of others. The turkeys’ presence in not stochastic, but a normal part of life. I don’t know if turkeys are self-aware, but they have a right to be here.
As do we all.
You need to be confident. You need to know who you are as a person and as a human. But make sure that you go through the world with humility and respect for others. —Dominique Crenn
Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners. —Laurence Sterne