I propose a philosophical predisposition for ministry, business, and now politics which I will call GAB - Goodwill Attitude Bias.
Simply put, we check our attitudes regularly to access the level of bias toward goodwill in our actions, reactions, responses, and overtures toward others whether they are clients, constituents, coworkers, associates, parishioners, or people on the street.
Are the words we are about to speak and decisions we are about to make effecting and affecting them bathed in the sweet water of goodwill? Do we have their best interests at heart? Are we genuinely interested in lifting them rather than tearing them down, in building them up, and giving them tools for becoming all they can be?
Without exercising any control over people's lives and respecting their autonomy, are we concerned about them? Are we allowing God's love to flow through us toward them?
It is a well used cliche, worthy of greater exposure that no one cares how much you kn ow until they know how much you care.
Don't fake it as a GABber; be one.
You can gab and gab and gab, but unless there is goodwill in your heart toward those to whom you are conveying your message, it is meaningless.
I included politics because in our current environment of disrespect and uncivil childishness, no one is speaking to anyone. Political operatives talk over people, about them, through them, and around them, but John Danforth is correct about the loss of the center in American politics and the abandonment of civility when there is an illusion of certainty in our polarized positions. See his new book, Faith and Politics.
It is not enough to have a great message, a great cause, a great product, or a great business opportunity. if we don't love our neighbor and genuinely care about his or her well being, wishing that person well (which is the essence of goodwill), we really have nothing worthy of saying or hearing.
Cultivate goodwill as your attitude bias and live by your convictions. Not everyone will sign on with you, but many more people will be willing to hear what you are saying.