The Dorothy Principle: A Lesson to Embrace During the Holidays

I’d like to share with you a paradigm-shifting concept. It’s called the Dorothy Principle, a popular story in “All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony.”

All the Right Reasons | Kevin Guest

The “Dorothy Principle” name may seem peculiar, but its implications have been profound in my life.

The essence of the Dorothy Principle lies in treating others with utmost respect and kindness. It’s about understanding that our greatest successes, our most meaningful victories, are nestled in the heart of our relationships.

In my book, I recount an incident from my college days when a college professor posed a seemingly simple question: “What is the name of the woman who cleans this building?” The class was stumped. The woman’s name was Dorothy. The lesson? In life, nothing is more important than relationships. And paying attention to others, even if you only pass them in the hall (if only several times a week like I did), is a secret to success.

This story resonated with me. I remember my first day at college; my professor wrote on the board: “Nothing is more important than relationships.” As a young college student, I felt this was counterintuitive to my ambitions. But time and experience have shown me the wisdom in those words.

I recall studying for hours for my final exam only to be faced with one question: “What had the professor written on the board on the first day of class?” Even after 35 years, I remember the answer and the lesson it taught me.

The Importance of Relationships

Relationships matter. Whether it’s the mail carrier, your co-worker, or the person who cleans the building, everyone deserves your attention, your respect, and your kindness. A simple smile, a warm hello, or just remembering someone’s name can make a world of difference.

As we approach the holiday season, I urge you all to put relationships first. Cherish your family, your friends, and every person who crosses your path. Remember, people matter more than things. Our success is not actually measured by our wealth or achievements, but by the lives we touch and the relationships we foster.

To experience true inner peace, we must understand what holds real meaning in our lives: relationships, making a difference, and living authentically. This is not just a message of hope; it’s a call to action.

It’s up to us to uphold virtues, to fight for integrity, to love truth, to right the wrongs, and heal the wounds. It’s up to us to repair what’s broken. If not us, then who?

So, I ask you today, will you join me in this quest for character? Will you strive for harmony? Will you live your life for all the right reasons?

It’s time we embraced the Dorothy Principle and put relationships first in everything we do. In the grand scheme, nothing is more important than relationships.

I first shared these thoughts in a LinkedIn post published on Nov. 15, 2023.

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