Here’s praise to the people who…

To the people who stop at stop signs and red traffic lights, who stay within the speed limit, not drive in the emergency lane, not drive while intoxicated, and follow the rules of the road. To those who do these things not because they are afraid of being caught, but because they are the right things to do.

To the people who, when they miss their turn-off, rather drive on, turn around at the next road, come back, and take the turn-off, instead of cutting across three lanes of traffic and yellow hazard lines, closely missing other drivers who patiently plan and execute their travels. To these people who value the safety of others no matter how late they’ll be for their meeting.

To the people who pay their television licenses without complaint, who don’t bribe policemen and other officials, who don’t lie on their tax return (especially when telling the truth that you didn’t really do all the kilometers you had to to benefit from your travel allowance). To these people who face the consequences of their wrong-doings, and not shy away from their responsibilities.

To the people who don’t make a noise in the office, and to those who don’t interrupt someone while they seem to be concentrating on something complicated or difficult. To the people who apologise in time that they will not be able to attend a meeting, and those who don’t schedule unnecessary meetings. Those who clean up after themselves in the office toilets (accidents do happen), and those who don’t leave their used cutlery, crockery, and left-over canteen food outside after lunch, and not leave their dirty paper cups and glasses lying around. To those who fill up the paper cup dispenser after using the last cup at the water cooler, and to those who replace the water bottle after using the last water at the water cooler. To the people who respect their colleagues.

To those who study harder when they fail a subject, and not blame the teacher or others for their failure. To those who realise that they are the only ones who can guarantee success in their lives, and not try and get a piece of the pie baked by hard working self-sacrificing people. To the people who do it by working hard and doing it for themselves.

To those who respect the rest of their neighbours by not playing loud music late at night or early mornings.

To those who still let ladies walk first, and open the door for them.

To those who clean up and throw away their papers, bottles, food packaging, left-over food, and napkins after having a meal in a park, and to those who don’t throw their rubbish out the window of their moving car.

To those who don’t abuse their hosts’ generosity when taken out for a meal.

To those who still value table manners, and not talk with food in your mouth.

To those who still address respected and older people as sir or ma’am.

To those who would give up their seat in a heartbeat for an elderly person, disabled person, or any lady (pregnant or not).

To those who still say please and thank you.

To those who know that “no” is also an answer.

To those who listen first and not interrupt someone.

To those who keep quiet and not talk during a movie, play, opera, or ballet.

To those who try to get to know someone, ignoring their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, class, or history.

To those who don’t judge a person on appearance.

To those who would give their R50 to a hungry homeless person, just because they don’t have anything smaller, and don’t make the excuse of not having change.

To those who face the music when they have done something wrong, and not try to shift the blame.

To those who forget their pride and admit that they need help, so that many more can benefit and be helped.

To those who believe in turning the other cheek, and not escalate things by seeking revenge.

To those who are not afraid to discipline their children.

To those who would say sorry and apologise.

To those who forgive. Repeatedly.

To those who seek peace.

Doing the right thing when no-one is looking is called integrity.

To all these people, much respect.


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