Monday, September 23, 2013


Is Decency Still Around?

Decency is defined as the behavior that conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability. It also means modesty and propriety.

A recent incident to a close friend made me wonder if decency is still around. If not why not?

Air travel is where one meets the affluent. Everyone is in a rush to get into the airline bus though the seating in aircraft is assured. There is a scramble to stand up as soon as the aircraft has halted even before the ladders are fixed to the craft. And this is the cream of the society.

While boarding trains and buses, we never form queues to stand in line. ‘Survival of the fittest’ appears to be rule. A lot of elbowing goes on and a new comer would head up before anyone else. The NRIs who return to India become like the rest of us the moment they land , and break lines to mob counters in airport.

If one is polite and stands around, you have to wait till the end of the day.

To prevent this, we have to teach our children AT HOME, how to be polite. My mother used to make me walk an old lady home after she used to visit us. Beatrice Pattiamma used to visit us at our house and I had to walk her back…. I still routinely help the elderly across as this is part of my training.

Respect to the elderly, not staring at others in the face, saying please and thank you are all things one learns at home. Unless we teach this in earnest to our children at home, and practice it in our day to day life, all advice will be in vain.

Yet another way of teaching our youth morality and propriety is to inculcate compulsory military ( or community) training at an age of 18 years or so; every youth who is fit should serve in army , navy or air force for a year. If not fit physically, should serve as volunteer in a hospital or home guards for a year before continuing education, similar to the Israelis. I am not sure if this will ever materialize in our country.

‘Be the change you want to see’ is what Mahatma Gandhi said. 

Children are like plants. They need our good behavior to follow and the more we feed them with good manner at home, the better they will be.

At dinner, I used to read the manual for good manners meant for Air Force personnel to my two boys. I do hope all that has paid off; and they teach their children too!

In UK, teachers used to say, "Child should study at home, come to school to play". 

How true in life! They should learn manners at home, come to the real world to practice the manners!