Have You had Breakfast with Schmucks?

Kindness Personal leadership Respect


We learn a lot by observing how others get treated. How do we rate ourselves as consistently respectful towards others?

I recently made the mistake of renting the movie Dinner for Schmucks. I’m not in the business of reviewing movies but I thought it was weak. I believe the premise of the show is that rich, “smart” business execs have dinners to make fun of unwitting participants who are labeled as “schmucks.” In the end the “idiots” turn out to be the extraordinary people and the “rich/smart guys” show themselves to be in the reverse role. The message: we need to respect the unique angles each of us brings to the table. Although the box office performance of this movie reinforces its limitations, there is some merit in reminding us of the importance of the message it was trying to convey.

I was at breakfast with a number of execs the other day. The waiter who was taking our order was struggling. He mixed up orders and was stumbling over himself.  One person at our table began to ridicule the waiter behind his back. I refused to participate. Hey, I’m no saint. But I find it flat out wrong and disrespectful to diminish others. Yes their performance for one reason or another may be substandard. And as customers we have a right to respectfully point out behavior that is not meeting expectations. Making fun of others is just not cool. There is zero value in doing it. In fact I wonder if this person includes me as an “idiot” when I’m not around. Frankly I wonder what merit or value he gets in acting that way?

  • Action:  Applying a belief involves connecting our head, heart, and action. If we have a belief, we have to have the courage to help align into everyday action; in our small way change the world. Ask ourselves if we treat all people respectfully; whether they’re serving us breakfast or signing our paychecks. Set the example of what we believe in action. Others will watch and learn. Our everyday thoughts and actions will define what we really believe.

Live the Triangle,