I’ve been struggling with a sad heart to put into words a positive close to the year for our blog due to the recent tragic events.

As I look back over the year, I feel a somber reminder of how violence can touch anywhere at any time, whether you’re in a spa, a church, a mall, or a school.

We could focus on the tragedies that have occurred, point fingers at causes, ignore the outcomes, or even live in fear. Instead, I challenge you to do something else, as a friend challenged me.

In an effort to reclaim this season, which ought to be the season of peace, let me challenge you to take two curative actions.

The first is respecting other people. Different people have different interpretations of the word respect, but the meanings all boil down to treating people the way you yourself would like to be treated.

Let’s look at a couple ways we could implement this not only in our work environments, but throughout our daily lives as well.

  • Would I want someone to gossip about me or say things that aren’t true? 

    No! So before I start to talk about other people, I will verify my information, speak directly to that person, and ensure that whatever I’m saying about them is beneficial to their reputation.

  • Do I want someone yelling at me because in their mind I’m moving too slow? 

    No! So before I yell at that store clerk, municipality worker, phone service representative, or fellow co-worker, I can think about what I can do (and control) instead, and take a mental step back, take a deep breath, and realize that the person in all fairness is probably doing the best they can with the constraints they’ve been given and are probably just as stressed as I am—whether because it’s that time of year, or because there have been payroll cuts (which mean fewer people to bear the load), or maybe because they’re going through personal circumstances I don't know about.

  • Do I want someone sending me an email that seems snarky? 

    No! So before I send off any messages myself, I'll re-read my outgoing emails and look for anything that could be misconstrued. Do I have a greeting and a closing? Have I thanked the person for their time? Do I address the person by name and sign my name? Are there any bold, ALL CAPS, or italicized words that really don’t need to be that way? 

The second action I urge you to take may be a more difficult challenge. Do something nice for someone you don’t know, someone who can’t help you in return, or maybe even someone with whom you don’t typically get along. I believe—and we teach—that people notice our actions much more than our words.

We can honor the victims of the last year by being kind and respectful to one another. We can honor them by living not in fear, but with arms open to helping those who need assistance, by not being afraid of showing we care, and by giving people a little bit of ourselves. We can honor the victims of recent tragedies by living each day to its fullest and embracing joy and happiness whenever we can.

On behalf of the Prepare Training® team, I wish you the best for the holiday season and the New Year!