On a crisp Sunday morning (the days that I absolutely love), I was sitting in my balcony with a cup of coffee and a book. I was immersed in the book, was living the life of the characters, enough to take me away from my weekday life when I heard some noises from inside. I thought the television had been switched on and ignored it but gradually the volume increased. Intrigued and irritated, I got up from the very comfortable seat I was in and went inside. The scene that unfolded was not something new. My father in law and my house help were having a very heated argument. I looked on waiting for an opportunity to intervene and stop the drama, I was hearing all nasty things that my father in law was telling her, she herself is not a saint but she was replying in a manner which was much more sophisticated than him. He was not abusing her but commanding her to do her job in a very ruthless manner. At least in my world I consider it ruthless.
So one night I was out for dinner, we went to this pick up your sandwich and leave kind of a place, we entered, ordered, and were waiting for our order to given, when this man barged in and started shouting at the top of his lungs that his sandwich had a sauce that he had not ordered. The cashier tried reasoning with him, human errors happen, that he would replace the sandwich and compensate too. But this man was not ready to listen anything, he was shouting and being abusive in between. One of the things he said was that he could get the shops closed and make everyone loose their jobs and bring them on road. I mean it was just an extra sauce in the sandwich.
On one of my market visits I heard a lady busy arguing with a rickshaw puller about the money he was charging, we all do that some time or the other. But suddenly she slapped the guy out of the blue and the poor old man did not know what to do, tears welled his eyes. And the woman was constantly abusing him, his condition and his roots. I mean come on, don’t give that extra rupee if you don’t want to, he is not going to snatch it from you.
There are many such instances at the back of my mind where we dehumanize a fellow human being for the simple reasons of them being poor, or working under or for us, or just because we think we own everything in the world or simply because we don’t respect other’s dignity. I understand that sometimes we need to be strict to make our point and we can’t comply with everything sent our way. But I always believe that being rude and abusive in such matters is not the solution. We can be stern but not necessarily rude. We should be atleast be respectful of other person’s dignity. It is the least we can do!