Where are your Manners?
I was lost in thoughts early morning. I didn’t even realise when the garbage picker called out to me. Still, since I had seen him standing outside, I went out to hand him over the garbage bag while still looking at my mobile screen. I was actually waiting for my group’s response to the query I had sent. With my eyes on phone, I didn’t even look up while keeping the garbage out of the gate. The man picked it up and left
I was lost in thoughts early morning. I didn’t even realise when the garbage picker called out to me. Still, since I had seen him standing outside, I went out to hand him over the garbage bag while still looking at my mobile screen. I was actually waiting for my group’s response to the query I had sent. With my eyes on phone, I didn’t even look up while keeping the garbage out of the gate. The man picked it up and left.
“Where are your manners?” these words made me stop then and there. Said in a rebuking tone, the words came from my 5 year old nephew who had come from US with my brother and his wife for a vacation. I was actually shocked at that abrupt question as I always thanked everyone who were giving us their services. I realised that I was so lost in my mobile that I didn’t even pay attention to the garbage man. After a few minutes of getting back to reality, I apologised to my nephew and explained that this was the first time I had missed my ‘manners’.
“Do you even realise how hard working these people are?” he blurted out a set of questions and even instructions which I heard quietly since every time he added “they are also humans”. I didn’t feel bad at the way my nephew spoke to me because his words were true and very sensible. What made me quiet was the fact that most of us in India do not thank these people who perform those meagre tasks which we cannot do on our own. In the US, thanking just everyone is a regular habit and words like sorry and thank you slip out very often because people consider work as work and not as something high or low.
I have people in the colony who do not even respond to the ‘namaste’ said by the maids. The moment a maid enters the house, she is thrown a lot of instructions and even accused of being late everyday. I guess that happens everywhere in India. We are not in the habit of thanking people like maids, servants, garbage picker, milkman, sabjivala, post man, courier man and so on.
Why don’t we do this? Why don’t we thank people? Is it that the thought of high and low cadre stops us? But since when did manners become part of cadre or class? We must thank each and every person who does something for us. I feel happy when I thank my kachre-vala everyday and he smiles back saying “ji auntyji”. I feel even more elated when I ask my sabji vala to get me some extra vegetable the next day and ask him to take money in advance and he responds saying “पैसे की बात नहीं दीदी, आप चार दिन बाद देना| आप हंस के थैंक यू बोलते हो, अच्छा लगता है, और कोई आपके जैसा नहीं यहाँ” and he even joins hands to say Namaste everyday, a respect others don’t get from him. Obviously, you get respect for respect and that is what we all need.
All people are not the same. Some may even give you a blank expression when you thank them, but love and respect is what humans need. When we can love a pet animal, why not pay respect to a human?
Manners are not always about the sorry and thank you, they are also about greeting a person in the right way. All this may seem like a lecture, but the fact here is that it doesn’t harm to show respect to everyone. It in turn gives you positive vibes from that person which can actually have a fabulous effect on your life. Positivity of such vibes lasts long.
All those people who help us in some way or the other deserve to be paid back in cash or kind, where cash can be a real help to the needy and kind can be by means of good words which they must have been craving for. One good word can make anyone’s day.
SO, when are you saying these good words?