With the greatest respect..

Here’s a story that reminded me that we should always offer kindess and listen with an open heart.

fine dining

A London restaurant was renowned for elegance, with plush furnishings and exquisite chandeliers. The meals were served on the finest china dinnerware and the drinks poured into crystal glasses.

Everything was perfect as a woman began to enjoy her meal. But the food needed just a touch of salt. Reaching for the beautiful silver shaker, she quickly discovered that it contained pepper. In fact, both of the silver shakers on the table contained pepper.

She signaled to the waiter who politely informed her that she must be mistaken because each table always had one salt shaker and one pepper shaker. The woman quietly picked up the first shaker and sprinkled a little pepper on the side of her plate. Then she picked up the second shaker and did the same.

The waiter was aghast. He apologized profusely and rushed to bring a salt shaker. He also brought the maitre d’ to the table, who offered complimentary desserts to apologize.

“My goodness,” the woman said, who was embarrassed by all the attention. “It’s not that important. It was just a simple mix-up.”

“But, Madame,” the maitre d’ replied, “what if you had been the queen?”

I would add that kindness and respect are their own rewards and not something you do “just in case” someone turns out to be royalty. Similarly, while vacationing in Costa Rica last year I was totally impressed by the use of the phrase “con gusto” (with pleasure) rather than “de nada” (it’s nothing), when I said thank you to someone. How different those two statements are. One so positive and respectful and one dismissive, not only to my thanks but to the act the person performed for me.

A simple gesture or a simple change in response can not only make a difference in someone else’s day but your own.

~ Todd


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