Growing up in Texas, I learned the value of the Golden Rule at an early age. Treating other people the way you want to be treated has been a colander through which I try to filter my actions daily. I don’t always get it right but it’s always there in my consciousness, pulling me back to center whenever I stray off the mark.
One of the first lessons taught by my father was to always honor my mother and show her respect. Yes, I was supposed to honor my father too but honoring my mother was symbolic of how men were expected to treat women. It’s made up of common courtesies that used to be involuntary, like taking a breath. Actions such as opening a door for a woman or standing up when a lady enters the room were at one-time standard operating procedure but in today’s society those have somehow fallen by the wayside.
I recently returned from leading a mission serve team to Honduras where I was dubbed El Jefe or The Boss. My Honduran translator and roommate Moika starting calling me Jefe, partly as a joke but also his way of showing respect. You see, at each meal I would always call for the ladies or mujeres to be served first. By the end of the trip, I didn’t even have to say “Mujeres”. The women got into the routine and the men stood by until all of the ladies were served.
With the launch of this website, mostinterestingjefe.com, I’ll be sharing musings on manners, missions, and mentoring. It’s my hope that attitudes can be transformed by what is shared here, that peoples from all corners can come together, show each other a little more respect and turn this seemingly hopeless, politically-toxic environment into one of peace, joy, hope and love through practicing the Golden Rule.