Simple consideration towards our fellow beings and our planet will make the world a better place for everybody, argues John Firrell, secretary of the Considerate Hoteliers Association.
As presidents and prime ministers near the end of their tenure, we are often subjected to the unedifying sight of them desperately seeking to leave a legacy for which they will be fondly remembered in time to come.
As our own years advance, our thoughts can sometimes move in that direction too with the growing awareness that there may be something we can do that will make the world a better place in the fullness of time.
Watching the many acts of remembrance recently, it struck me that there have been thousands of people over the years who, maybe unknowingly, have left a lasting legacy. By making many sacrifices (including giving up their lives), they have often made it possible for other people to have more freedom and an improved quality of life - which must be the ultimate legacy.
Thankfully, we can still leave a decent legacy without risking life or limb. We can make and leave the world a better place just by being more, well, considerate. We can stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about others and how our actions today can affect the lives of those who follow in generations to come.
We do not need to march on Downing Street waving hysterically-worded placards. Our legacy can be quietly and gently achieved, without fanfare or applause, by being considerate towards our fellow human beings and, indeed, our planet.
Imagine a time when you can reflect on how well you have done your job but how your many acts of consideration have given a real lift to the people you have come into contact with.
The question is, where to begin? It is easy to say you should recycle more, cut down on waste, reduce water consumption, compost your food waste and plant more trees and, of course, we should.
But we can all be more polite and socially responsible and, perhaps, be incredibly pious by telling others they could and should be too. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make your immediate surroundings a more pleasant place by showing civic pride at your place of work or the area in which you live.
- Motivate your staff and work colleagues via encouragement and a civil tongue.
- You will not necessarily see instant improvements and you shouldn't expect people to come along and pat you on the back, telling you what a good egg (organic and free range of course!) you are.
- Support good local businesses that adopt a similar approach to social responsibility to your own. Don't just tell your wholesalers to remove all the unnecessary packaging on your wares - ask the manufacturer to follow suit as well.
If we all adopt a more considerate approach to everyday life then, collectively, we will leave a lasting legacy that will become second nature to those who follow. It really will make the world a better place to live in - in time.
For more information on this year's Considerate Hotel of the Year of the Year Awards go here.