web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Acting Respectfully Always Pays Off

Respler-050412

Share Button

Dear Dr. Yael:
Although I agree with your advice to A Passive Reader (Showing Respect Gets Results, 4-20) about how to deal with difficult people, I emphatically disagree with your decision to take the blame for the impatient frum guy who was honking his horn. If you saw him run someone over with his car, would you take the blame for that too? If you had gotten a ticket, would you have paid it? If the officer had arrested you, would you have gone to jail? I am not a rabbi, but I would be surprised if not informing means taking the blame as well.

Meanwhile, the “young, impatient frum guy” sat there and let you take the heat for him. He may be frum, but he’s no tzaddik. In fact, he is a coward and should be ashamed of himself.

The simplest thing would have been to say to the officer, “It wasn’t me. Check other cars.” The officer must have been pretty ignorant himself not to see that someone else was blowing the horn.

Massering is very problematic, and sometimes it is used to protect people who have done terrible things. At best the guy honking the horn committed a nuisance act and not a crime, but for you to take the blame and the heat was plainly wrong. Best wishes, A Reader

Dear Reader:
Thank you for sharing your interesting thought, but you missed the point of my response. I am not advocating that people take responsibility for things they did not do. My point was how one should deal diplomatically in a difficult situation, so that an angry or argumentative person can be dealt with in a manner that mitigates the situation.

I received many responses regarding this column, including two amazing stories from people who found themselves in similar situations. Both stories are about people who committed driving errors and deserved to be ticketed, but were saved from getting tickets due to the way they handled the situation.

Although my intention is not to instruct people on ways to avoid getting tickets from the police when they are in fact guilty of a driving misdemeanor, I will share these stories so that people will learn that you get further in life – and become more productive – by speaking in a respectful and honest manner than by screaming or being disrespectful. Both stories are about the issue of ticket avoidance.

Story #1: One of my husband’s physician colleagues was driving slightly over the speed limit in a carpool lane on a Sunday when he was pulled over. He was late to his grandchild’s birthday party, having been delayed due to attending to patients’ needs in the hospital. When pulled over, he thought about how to handle the situation in a way whereby he would not be ticketed (which could have meant points on his license). He also wanted to ensure that he would not cause a chillul Hashem.

He decided that the best course of action would be that of respectfulness and honesty. He thus told the police officer the truth, speaking respectfully to him and explaining that he did not know that he was not allowed to use the carpool lane on Sundays. He also acknowledged that he knew that he was driving slightly over the speed limit, but that he felt the need to rush to his granddaughter’s birthday party to which he was late. He told the officer that he had gotten stuck all morning in the hospital treating patients. The officer, seemingly impressed with his honesty and respectful tone, responded, “Okay, doctor, be careful and do not do this again.” He then let my husband’s colleague go on his way.

I believe that what prompted the officer not to issue the doctor a ticket was the fact that the doctor spoke respectfully to him. He addressed him as “officer,” said “yes, sir” in a nice tone, and imparted the truth. His actions made the policeman feel that he was being treated with deference. The lesson: In many situations we can persuade people to be more lenient toward us by treating them with respect. This makes them feel that they are worthy of our respect.

Story #2: My friend was driving her son to his friend’s house for the purpose of getting a ride to his yeshiva dorm. It was around midnight and the streets were quiet and desolate. Being tired, she did not notice the red light on a side street and drove through it – and was suddenly pulled over by a police officer.

The officer took down her license information (she had no violations), saw a teenaged boy and luggage in her minivan, and noticed how tired and overworked she seemed. My friend apologized to the officer, saying that she did not see a light on the small street. She said that she stopped as if for a stop sign, and then made a right turn. She emphasized the point that she was a careful driver and would never purposely pass a red light. As she was very courteous, the officer told her to go home, saying, “You look overtired and overworked. Be careful.”

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Acting Respectfully Always Pays Off”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-041814

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

Respler-041114

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

By employing this new countermove, the scenario will likely change.

I bring the results of this study to demonstrate that although in a frum world we should rise above the gashmius, unfortunately, we still live in a secular world in which we are affected by that gashmius.

It is a shame that when one sincerely wishes to help another person, he or she often must avoid telling the truth.

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for your amazing letter. I wish you hatzlachah in your new marriage, and may your letter bring more sensitivity to others regarding this issue.

JetBlue flew an empty aircraft from Boston to JFK to assist us. The care and concern of the flight attendants was amazing. They were astounded by our group, so much so that at the end of the flight, the captain related for all to hear that he was truly impressed by the care that the HASC counselors provided for the special-needs campers – all of whom have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. We did our best to demonstrate a true kiddush Hashem.

I had a great figure and dressed well, but the only thing wrong with me was that I had a very long nose with a huge bump.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/acting-respectfully-always-pays-off/2012/05/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: