The holiday season is upon us. Therefore, sadly predictable, even with hyperinflation and an uncertain economy, our Western consumerism has begun its annual shift into high gear, resulting in our interacting with front-line hospitality workers (retail sales associates, baristas, restaurant servers) more than usual.
You can tell a lot about someone by how they treat the person serving them; hence, the value of kindness cannot be overstated.
The holidays are about celebrating the values that bind us and coming together. Despite all our self-identifying differences and how the media and politicians go to great lengths to create divisiveness, I like to think we can all agree, even though we do not always act accordingly—everyone is allowed a few bad days—that being nice to each other is a critical part of our social contract. Is not the heart of humanity human kindness? Smiling costs nothing. Saying “Please” and “Thank you” costs nothing. It costs nothing to treat bar, retail, and restaurant staff with patience.
There is no better place to start than with hospitality workers to live by the simple golden rule: “Treat others as you would like to be treated,” not just during the holiday season but throughout the year.
As I mentioned initially, how you treat the person serving you tells a lot about you.

This is an excerpt from An Open Letter: This Holiday Season Be Nice to Hospitality Workers by Nick Kossovan, a self-described connoisseur of human psychology, writes about what’s on his mind from Toronto. You can follow Nick on X/Twitter and Instagram @NKossovan.