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Where Has Respect Gone?

September 23, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s shootings around the world, in areas that are supposed to be safe and secure and in areas that aren’t. In an ideal world, there would be no unsafe areas. This isn’t a new problem when human emotion gets involved. Very early in the Bible there was conflict between people.

So I see the negative and wonder what we can do in one little part of it to make things better. It’s been an ongoing quest – and one I’d like to challenge readers to join. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, and sometimes when recognized it’s said “anyone would have helped” but too often anyone doesn’t. Anyone left the building and isn’t even present until YOU step up!

I took a little break from most of online for a couple of days – Saturday I stopped for lunch in Dairy Queen. It’s not my top pick for fast food – although the $5 lunch special was pretty filling and a great value! But I did it as a statement, however small, of how respect should be rewarded.

If you missed this story among the Miley news and endless unimportant headlines, this is a great example of respect, even when he thought no one was looking.

Prusak was working at the Hopkins, Minn., Dairy Queen where he is a manager when he noticed a blind man drop a $20 bill on the ground and was unaware of it. An older woman in the line picked up the bill and put it in her purse instead of returning it to the man, Prusak said.

Prusak asked the woman to give the man his money back, but she said it was her money that she had dropped. He asked her again to return the money, but she refused. He then asked her to leave the store, as he would not serve someone so disrespectful.

“She got extremely angry and began to swear at your employee,” the witnessing customer wrote in the email to Dairy Queen. “He stayed calm and never gave her any attitude.”

The woman left the store and the customer who wrote the email told Prusak that he had done the right thing and then went and sat in the lobby near the blind man.

“What happened next I would have never expected,” the email said.

Prusak approached the man, opened his own wallet and gave the man $20.

You probably haven’t heard of Joey Prusak – the 19 year old Dairy Queen worker who took it on himself to right a wrong. In a sea of disrespectful fast food workers defiling food, that’s not right. What a world we would have if even half of Americans would follow that lead!

So the other day when I was running errands I pulled in to Dairy Queen, and was treated with the same kind of consideration in Jasper Alabama. I think of all the debates about food and restaurants and fast food. For me fast food is edible – it satisfies hunger at the time, but I can’t honestly say I have a favorite spot.

But if the caliber of employees at Dairy Queen is that consistent, I hope they pay them well as surely these young folks have bright futures ahead of them. The road is paved with respect. May we all model it. These are the leaders of the future. This is the kind of people we want in our businesses, as neighbors and serving next to us.

Strive to be that kind of person, whether anyone is watching or not. Let it be known when you see something like this. For all the good people out there – let it shine!

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