26.10.15 / Posted by jirehconsult

I was browsing my Facebook the other day and came across a post by Richard Gere. You might remember him from movies such as “Pretty Woman” and “An Officer and a Gentleman”. He recently posed as a homeless man and was ignored, with some looking at him with disgrace during that period. This is what he said:

“When I went undercover in New York City as a homeless man, no one noticed me. I felt what it takes to be a homeless man. People would just pass by me and look at me in disgrace. Only one lady was kind enough to give me some food. It was an experience I’ll never forget. So many times we forget how blessed we are. We should not take that for granted. And if we can help someone in need, we should. That’s why after I was done, I walked around and gave food and $100 to every homeless person I saw. They cried and were so grateful. Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Many are starting to forget or have already forgotten how to be thankful… for everything. For instance, a job that provides income to a family. In this trying time, we should all realise how lucky we are that we still have a job, clothes to wear, food to eat, clean water to drink, entertainment to enjoy and life to live.

When life is easy, people tend to take things for granted and forgot to appreciate the moment. A simple ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’ or ‘How are you?’ will probably make a difference to someone’s day. Everyone has their ups and downs, but nobody like to be showed an attitude or scolded; it will probably ruin that person’s day if he or she is the type of person who does not have a high EQ.

In Public Relations (PR), we deal with many parties, namely client, media, suppliers and so forth. Most of the time, we don’t see them face to face and communications are mainly via e-mails and telephone calls. Therefore, we must always be cautious in what and how we communicate especially via e-mails so that the other party does not get the wrong impression. Sometimes, a simple comma makes a huge difference in a sentence.

Being alert to this sensitivity in communications works both ways: from PR to clients/media and vice-versa. I believe that“Ps”, “Qs” and “I’m sorry” can go a long way in diplomacy and make the community if not the world, a better place.

However, being grateful and minding our manners need to be ingrained into each person from a young age. It is a bit late when the habits have formed and the person has joined the working world. Nobody likes to be surrounded by ingrates and rude colleagues.

Having said this, we also have to be aware of our selves – how we speak and conduct ourselves. If we want things to change, we have to make the first move. Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Change yourself and you will see things starting to change around you, for the better.

Now I need to go put a note-to-self to ensure that I inculcate these values and manners into my son!

Melanie Low
October 2015