I work in healthcare and work with some very, very intelligent people.  (For anonymity’s sake, we shall call those referred to in this post “Doctors”.)

Let me preface this by stating that most of the people that I work with are quite kind and personable.  Also, I know the dangers of judging another’s humility and/or pride but am simply using it as an example to get to the teaching point.

There are a few doctors that I have worked with who seem to think that since they have an “M.D.” after their name that they should be excused from common courtesy.  To avoid dwelling on this, I will give just a quick example.  The other day I was walking down the hall, and a doctor was walking pretty parallel to me.  He slowed down as we approached some double doors and I thought, “Well, I guess I’ll get the door.”  I opened the door and held it as he sauntered through.  He did not say “Thank you”, he did not look at me or acknowledge me in any way.  Later that day, it happened again with a different doctor.  I came home and complained to Doug about them not even having the manners to say “Thank you” and I said, “What would their mothers say!?”  Doug happened to know one of their mothers and explained that she would probably be very disappointed in her son.

I couldn’t help but think of some of the conversations I have had with John about the importance of being more kind to people that are not as talented or skilled as he is.  We were originally talking about how Spencer is physically smaller than John and therefore John needs to be less rough when playing with Spencer compared to when he is playing with Dad.  The lesson continued as we talked about how the Savior was more amazing than everyone but he never denied help or common courtesy to others.  Even though everyone was “below” him, he treated them as equals.  That can be a difficult concept, no matter your age or circumstance.

We have a neighbor boy who, from what we have witnessed, comes from a pretty rough family life.  He likes to taunt John by riding his bike or scooter up and down the sidewalk by our house or even into our driveway.  I haven’t hear him actually say anything but he’ll just stare John down or point at the emblems on his hat while riding by.  John is intrigued and just watches him.  I don’t love the idea of John befriending him but part of me is a bit torn.  How do you, my friends and readers, balance the concern for a friend being a bad influence on your kid with the possibility of your kid being a much-needed good influence on a friend?  It’s tricky, right?  This kid just seems mean and rough.  It seems he is going to be in so much trouble by the time he is 10.  It scares me to have him at all associated with us but another part of me says, “Try to change his stars.  Invite him over for dinner.”