After what has been the most divisive and disgraceful presidential primary in modern times, if not ever, when all sense of human kindness, courtesy, etiquette and good manners have been abandoned, we are coming to the end. By that I mean the end of the primary; certainly not the end of the election.
Tuesday the polls will close and later that evening or early the following morning, we should know the name of the next president of the United States. Will that be the end of this period of great angst and stress, or will it be the beginning of an even more dreadful period?
The choice, I believe, is a personal one. You and I cannot control the behavior of others, but we can determine our own. While many have used this presidential primary as an excuse to behave inappropriately, to do and say the most hurtful things about others, it is time to stop and reflect.
Should our words and actions mirror those of the candidates? I think not. It’s time to revisit the meaning of etiquette and good manners. Have we forgotten the value of treating each other with kindness and respect no matter our differences? To quote Michele Obama on their family’s motto when others say or do hurtful things, “When they go low, we go high.”
No matter your feelings when the winner is announced, will you take the high road or the low? Will you gloat to your co-workers who voted for the losing candidate? Will you sulk about the office if your choice was the losing one?
What if we all took this opportunity to put aside any differences and vow to be more accepting of the thoughts and feelings of others? What if we all decided that it is time to heal and not to hurt? If we do, perhaps our future will be brighter than we had anticipated; and our period of distress and disagreement will be over.
Let’s take a page out of President George H.W. Bush’s history book when he wrote his memorable letter to President Clinton in 1993 congratulating him on his victory and pledging his full support. Let’s all go high.
Learn how to “go high” in your behavior by reading my book Manners That Sell!