I was watching NFL Sunday Night Football and noticed that an offensive and a defensive lineman from opposite teams congratulated each other on a play with one assisting the other to get up off the ground. This was an unusual example of professionalism that we do not see much in today’s highly competitive world. Typically, you see opposing team members getting in each other’s faces and shouting and pushing. Of course, this is an example of non-professionalism.
It is interesting to watch professionals in the workforce. They are highly motivated to improve their lifestyles, make more money, go higher up on the corporate ladder, purchase a bigger house… the list goes on, but everything is related to selfish desires. Yet, in that wish list, you do not see a desire to become more professional. That does not compute in the modern world, so it is refreshing to see it every now and then like I did that night during the football game. It was so unique that I had to write a note about it.
In the movie, “Wallstreet,” we were told that greed is good. There wasn’t a message to be more professional in that movie. So, does today’s society believe that you should knock down your opposition and walk over them to reach your goals to satisfy your selfish greed, no matter what the costs? This seems to be the case. What has happened to our society?
Well, back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, people weren’t perfect by any means, but they worked together more because they saw what happened in the Great Depression and they were going through WWII and the Korean wars. Small businessmen and farmers needed help since they didn’t have large operating funds. Neighbors would pitch in to help whenever somebody needed a hand. They didn’t consider themselves competing against each other like they do today.
Today, we don’t need any help from our neighbors or friends. We are better than that. We are the elite. We will make it on our own because we are more aggressive. And sometimes that works out for young professionals… at least until bad times hit. And they will hit again. It’s not will they come again, but when will they come again?
Thus, it might be important to be professional and congratulate your competitor for their accomplishments and deemphasize your wonderful feats. Focusing on others may have a more beneficial impact on your persona than if you dedicated everything in your life to yourself. And it would give you a boost toward preparing you for the bad times which will come again. You might even have some friends who will help you when you are down.
Be professional, whether in your job, sporting event, community activity, social event, or interacting with family or friends. Professionalism is an ethical attitude of doing the right thing even if it involves some sacrifice. The choices you make always will have consequences. Serve others before yourself and the world will be a better place for everybody.