I wonder why Gandhiji had said if someone slaps you, turn the other cheek, obviously to receive another blow. For all you know the person is likely to take you seriously and you might end up with a swollen face. But if the perpetrator of the act has something called a “conscience”, he will say sorry and you might acknowledge saying “thank you.”  But of late my experience has shown that these words are becoming old fashioned or obsolete in Chennai society.

The other day a customer who had arrived at the bank a little before me, was waiting for the cash counter to open. As he appeared not to have noticed when the counter finally opened,   I said he could go first as  my turn would come only after his. Without as much as a thank you he hurried towards the counter, collected the cash and rushed out.  

Recently I found a participant who was sitting behind me at a seminar organized by MMA talking on his mobile. As his head was bent almost touching the rear of my chair, I could clearly hear what he was saying and couldn’t concentrate on the key note address that was being delivered. I turned back and said very softly that he was disturbing me and seeing him leave the place (a little reluctantly though) to continue his conversation, I thanked him for his gesture. Did he say sorry? The answer is obvious.

Talking about manners, an incident at a multi purpose store yesterday proved it is not the “exclusive privilege” of adults to give them a go by.

A young girl (quite flabby), probably aged five or six was standing behind her mother at the billing counter. She stamped on my foot, hurting my toes badly (thank God, it was not deliberate) and when I looked up, her expression showed how furious she was with me. I thanked my stars that I escaped without a fracture and felt there was no point in telling her to be better mannered.  

In such a situation do I extend my other foot for her to stamp on it? 

n.meera raghavendra rao     


One thought on “SORRY AND THANK YOU – ARE THEY OUTDATED? 11/06/2010

  1. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

    Mahatma Gandhi not only studied the Upanishads & Gita but also the Bible and Koran. He tried to take the good points from each. This ‘turning the cheek’ thing, he took from the bible.

    “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” Matthew 5:39

    Many people want to bypass these provocative words from Jesus because they seem to imply that we are to allow people to just beat the tar out of us and not resist physical violence and injury.

    To turn the other cheek is rather a response of strength that says, “I will not seek revenge because I am stronger than that”.

    The muslims were murdering the Hindus who were escaping from the newly created Pakistan and the fanatical Hindus were doing the same to muslims here. My several friends in Delhi and Calcutta were mute witnesses to this. When Gandhi asked the Hindus not to do tit-for-tat, he was killed by Nathuram Godse.

    That being said, parents are often so preoccupied with their own trials & tribulations that they forget that their work doesn’t end in producing a human and it is their responsibility to teach the person civic sense, common etiquette and make him/her an upright citizen. Many of the parents become parents because of testosterones and don’t have the skills for effective parenting. That is why you meet such mannerless people.

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