Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Me First

Jostle. Push. Shove. ME FIRST.

This is the new generation. Sadly, I must admit that nobody follows decorum like in the past. Gone are the days when there were gentlemen and ladies. Nobody offers way for an older person or even has the courtesy to smile and say ‘Thank you’. It’s sad but true; in this fast-paced global world, etiquette and manners have long since taken a backseat, content to ride in silence in the hasty tempo of life.

Now that my eyes are open, I often spot how easily parents overlook their children’s behaviour. They don’t seem to correct them anymore. I wanted to whack a child the other day when he ordered his mother to get him some ice cream. I’m talking about a boy aged eleven here. The mother meekly obeyed him for fear of a tantrum brewing in his rebellious young eyes. The boy in question does not take no for an answer. He does as he pleases while the parents blissfully pamper him, molly coddling him until he knows no better than to continue behaving badly.

I blame parents today for bad behaviour. There’s so much drivel going around about corporal punishment and its demerits. It’s astounding how blind adults have become in the face of this new age thought process. I’m not advocating caning; but if a mild beating or two were administered, perhaps discipline would be inculcated in young minds. Instead, we’ve taken the extreme step of no beatings, no harsh words, nothing. It’s common knowledge that only love and kind words do not instil discipline. Every personality is different. Some may respond to reason while others, the more rebellious ones, probably need a stronger method of disciplining.
Coming back to the point; when etiquette isn’t followed at home, how will a child ever learn to be polite? It is infuriating when children insist on sitting with adults or run around on an evening out. My generation were a well-behaved lot. We played or sat in the other room, coming out only to greet guests or eat. There was no question of us vying for our parents’ attention when a party was going on.

Today, I see mothers spending the entire evening running behind their children. It’s sad to see how easily the same mother has forgotten how she was trained in her early years.

As Indians, we have a mistaken sense of pride when it comes to getting something. Take for example standing in a queue to get a ticket to a movie. Impatience and power play often overrule the short wait to get a ticket. Instead, you have people pushing or trying to cut the line.

I wish they days of yore would return. I hope the younger generation opens their eyes and sees how badly the world needs a change. Slow down. Live life. Don’t be in such a hurry to get somewhere.


Indian Home Maker said...

Beating may be what caused the problem in the first place. I see sometimes tired/preoccupied/indifferent parents throw a fit over little things and then feel guilty and ignore what could be important.

Was the child rude? I also feel children learn best from example. If they are spoken to politely , they speak politely. If they are shouted at, they learn to shout and yell. If they see parents resorting to slapping and beating when they can't explain or handle a situation, they learn to be aggressive and violent. I read a lovely poem about this - about how a little boy is confused when he is asked to be polite with a yell :(

KM said...

It's taken me a while to respond. I like your comment - especially about the yelling to be polite :-) Too many confusing instructions being handed down innocent tots.

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