Clarence Thomas gave what appears to be a wonderful presentation at DUKE last week . He talked about his life both legal and non legal. There was some nuggets I had not heard before. See Justice Clarence Thomas shares his journey from the South to the Supreme Court .
Law Prof Josh Blackman keyed in on something he said that I thought was interesting .
Each step of his career served as a “building block” for the next thing, Thomas said, directly addressing his student audience. “There are little things that you pick up along the way – how you conduct yourself, how you do your job, how you deal with other people, how you treat people. I have been places with people who I would otherwise respect, and I watch what they do when they pass one of the cleaning people, or the [servers] at the tables. Are they officious, or do they treat them as they would like to be treated? All those things you can learn in any job,” he said.
Treating others the way he would like to be treated is an approach he takes even in crafting his judicial opinions, he said, in response to Levi’s observation that his opinions and dissents are always respectful in tone.
A lot of great wisdom there. It is sometimes leads to some serious error but human beings just as perhaps a survival instinct start making moral judgments on people within minutes of often meeting them. How they treat others in situations Thomas describes rightly or wrongly makes an impression on me right away that is hard to dislodge once I have acquired it. The one thing I can't stand is rudeness and people might be surprised how many people have quietly made a determination of their total moral worth based on an experience at the local eatery etc.
I can recall watching how a local Priest treated a staff person at Radio Shack. Now I saw indications he was " Father Bad Mood " but I was a tad floored. Futher he was a FRANCISCAN and who ever heard of Father Scowl Franscisan ! However they apparently exist. Now it was perhaps wrong for me to JUDGE this Priest so much on this incident. However it was a hard impression ever for me to shalke.
Lesson - The most important lesson you can teach your kids , your students , etc is being polite and courteous to everyone.