One way to judge people’s character is how they treat those who are beneath them in status or authority. Take ABC television newsman Sam Donaldson, who retired today. I don't know Donaldson, and don’t watch Sunday news shows, but I had one experience with him many years ago when I was following former Rep. Dick Gephardt around for a story. Gephardt had a luncheon interview scheduled at ABC in Washington, and I accompanied him. The various bigshots, George Will, Cookie Roberts etc., were having lunch at their executive dining room. I was directed to a chair up against the wall and away from the table, where I could watch, but not participate in, the proceedings. I wasn’t introduced to anyone or offered lunch. Five minutes into the luncheon, as the interview was beginning, Donaldson, disappeared into the dining room, and came back with a lunch on a tray for me. It was a minor, but a noble, gesture, and the kind of thing that I remember about people.

--John B. Judis