Decency & Decorum

Pardon me if this post sounds preachy… (But if I can’t rave & rant about things that irritate me in my blog, what’s the use of it?!)

Road-rage is rampant in our cities. I’m subjected to it on a daily basis. Even if I try to keep my cool, there’s always some boorish nut case challenging my resolve.

He honks non-stop when I have no place to move this side or that and even if I get fed up & give him way, all he does is get caught between my car & the car in front of him!

And some take great pleasure in overtaking you from the left… When you least expect it.

And of course with my 8 year old son travelling with me most of the time, I have to constantly watch what I’m saying.

Once when he was 4, we were off to some place. After ten minutes, he asked me “Amma, where’s that idiot uncle?”

“Who?”

“That uncle who always comes on the bike every time…”

It took me a minute to realise he thought there was just one guy on a bike every day who irritates me & his name is ‘idiot’!

Oh and don’t even get me started on auto drivers! Yesterday, an auto suddenly shot out of a side road, directly on to my path on the main road. The driver was not even aware of me screeching to a halt within inches of him because he was too busy talking to someone on his mobile.

The other day a group of us in a car burst out laughing at an auto driver who was casually manoeuvring his auto with one hand and holding a hot cup of tea on the other. God save his passengers if he had to hit a pot hole!

All these are just a few examples of the hundreds of irrational driving in our roads. In almost all cases, accidents are just waiting to happen. Only avoided in the last minute with some divine intervention!

I’m not getting into drunken driving. That’s a whole new ball game altogether.

This kind of behaviour does not stop with just driving. We encounter indecent, thoughtless, mindless stuff everywhere. People throwing junk behind their walls, spitting on the roads, talking loudly on their phone in public places… the list is endless.

The easiest way to lable these ‘don’t-care’ attitude of our people is to blame the government & corruption. But aren’t we living in a democracy? Shouldn’t we take the blame too, for keeping quiet & letting hooligans inherit the earth?

I feel the government officials, administrators, lawyers, judges, politicians should not be blamed.  They just go beserk with a little bit of power and their kith & kin get equally drunk with the reflected glory.

How will they know what they’re doing is wrong when they were never taught to behave with decency & decorum?

How will an illiterate auto/cab driver know it’s indecent to honk too often? How does a mechanic rushing off to his job on a bike know it’s wrong o overtake from the left? How will a man realise it’s wrong to urinate in public if his parents taught him to do just that when he was a kid?

Do you know what will really help? Catch them young.  Why wait for people to grow into adults and start teaching them ethics and values?

In my opinion ‘Decency’ should be taught in schools as a subject. Not just as an optional, with no marks subjects like Moral Science, but compulsory, up there with Maths, Science & the languages.

Children should be taught good manners, on being sensitive to other people around them, care for the environment, everything under the sun which comes under decency & decorum. People who fail in ‘Decency’ should not be allowed to progress to the next class.

Just imagine. After say ten years, we’ll have a new crop of people who’ll be courteous to each other. Road-rage will be extinct. People will patiently wait for their turn in queues instead of pushing each other like savages. Government employees will be punctual and treat people with utmost kindness. Auto drivers will drive carefully & return the exact change due. Maids will do their jobs sincerely and not bunk at the drop of a hat. Colleges will be more honest about the courses they offer and more transparent with what they do with the fees they receive. Builders will not cheat by using substandard materials for the price of better ones.

There will be less fights and more peace.

Less noise pollution and more happiness.

Less stress and more bliss.

Utopia, here I come.