I am home after a long two-week travel stint. As I got ready to start my day today, I needed to use my husband’s tube of toothpaste because mine was still packed away. I’ve only used his toothpaste a handful of times because he’s the squeeze-the-tube-in-the-middle sort of person and I’m a smooth-the-paste-from-the-closed-end-toward-the-opening (and folding up the roll as I go is a bonus) type of person. Being the type of person that I am, I usually cringe when I have to use his tube.
Inherently, I am different from my husband. We are all different from others: our co-workers, our customers, and the public that many of us serve. Differences add to the richness of life. In our Workplace Bullying Topic Module
we talk about how personality differences and differences in style and opinion add to the richness of a workplace. The Prepare Training®
program’s key philosophy is respect, service, and safety. We talk a lot about respecting each other, our differences, our opinions, and how someone else may perceive a situation.
The first couple times I used my husband’s tube of toothpaste I cringed both inwardly and outwardly. Recently when I had to use his toothpaste, I “fixed” it first so it was all smooth from the back toward the opening. Today, I stopped and realized that what was inherently different from me and my personality actually brought me joy. I realized the pure joy and freedom that could come from squeezing the tube from the middle.
As we close out 2013, my wish for you is that you respect, embrace, and find joy in the differences around you and try to see things from a new perspective. As we seek to respect the differences we all have, we may learn something about the other person or about ourselves—if we don’t jump to criticize the difference or brush it aside, but, instead, embrace it.