We aspire to become doctors, scientists, lawyers and what not. We desire to become millionaires, billionaires, and may be more. I am amazed when I think how many hours I spend to think of my dreams and things I want to achieve in this life time. I guess it’s the case with most of us. Yet, we forget that there is a set hierarchy of evolution, growth, development – not just for buildings and countries, but more importantly for human beings also. A building will last for eternity if and only if its foundations are robust. Surely, the same must hold good for us.
I remember a dialogue from the popular Bollywood movie Lage Raho Munnabhai. There is this scene where a girl calls up the Gandhigiri helpline wondering how she would be able to judge the guy she is about to meet for the first time. Sanjay Dutt tells her that the true character of a person is known by the way he/she behaves with people below him in the ‘social cadre’ (something we create to suit our egos).
How true indeed! Who does not behave well with people they know? Every sane person does. Also, we behave well even with people we do not know, but that is mostly in cases where the other person is either above or almost in our ‘level’. But how many of us behave well with people who are supposedly below us - the rickshaw drivers, the waiters, the servants? How about the behavior with the call centre/customer care people who call us up and most of the times we bang the phone down abruptly. Do we not lose our cool sometimes and give them a piece of our mind? For what? Do they enjoy calling us up? They think it’s some kind of a cool job? The fact is (and we all now this) they have to do it to make a living for themselves and their families. Can you imagine how frustrating calling 200-250 people each day and hearing rude replies/abuses in most cases could be! One of my psychologist friends happened to tell me that these people inevitably end up losing their self-confidence in many cases and some of them get suicidal tendencies too. All because we choose to behave rudely, let’s face it.
This blog-piece got triggered earlier today when I was filling my tummy at the Pizza Hut. 3 middle-aged guys were seated in a table and had placed some order. I thought there was some shortage of staff and as a result, the two people who were serving were extremely tied up with many orders. Obviously, there was bound to be some delay. One of the 3 guys called for something and nobody attended to him for some time. He took an offence in it and started shouting, yes real yelling, at the waitress. Things like ‘kya mera paise ka bhaav nahi hai?’ It went on for about 5 long minutes, with all illogical points being raised about the service. Fine, he had a point, but is that a way of making it? The waitress was in tears by the time it was over. She was still supposed to keep saying ‘sorry sir’ to this ‘man’. This is not a one-off incident. It happens each day with many. In most cases, this ‘looking down’ happens in a more subtle manner.
Aren’t these people who serve us emotional human beings? They have emotions and do expect some respect for whatever they are doing. If not anything else, respect as a human being. When is it that we will stop profiling people based on their jobs and social status? What right did the guy have to shout like that on someone? Just because he is earning more than her! That too, not necessarily because of his extra special skills in something, but just because he had better opportunities in life.
People do not become cabbies, waiters, milkmen, delivery boys, salesmen by choice. In most cases, it is the only choice that they are left with after spending a childhood and youth with minimal or no education at all. They are not a result of lack of their skills, but only a lack of opportunities. If we got these opportunities, we should only be feeling lucky and not bossy & rude. If we cannot give them the proper chance to exploit their skills and aptitudes, let us not at least make them feel more humiliated.
Let’s be humane please. That’s the least we can do...