I visited India recently and there was something that struck me in that trip. Now, it’s not something new that I experienced, we all have seen it, and have been living with it for our entire lives. But still, this was the first time, I observed it and gave some serious thought of why it happens like this.
I am referring to the ever prevailing ‘culture of me’, meaning that people are concerned about themselves in every aspect. I observed that this is so prevalent that it has become our default behavior and everyone is doing it unconsciously.
If you look around, you will see this behavior surrounding us. You get on roads and you will witness it. Everyone is trying to get ahead of one another, blowing horns to move vehicles out of their way, not stopping when you are supposed to stop – whether it’s on traffic signals or when a pedestrian is crossing the road. The same behavior prevails when there is a queue, the person behind you will be standing so close to you (right on your shoulders), as if standing in such a way will get him in front of the line faster.
In general, when I was observing this behavior, I observed a restlessness among people. And this restlessness is leading to individuals behave in a way where they don’t care about surroundings, don’t care about rules. Only thing they care about is themselves. They are more focused on their own well-being, rather than the society in which they live.
Everywhere else in the world, pedestrian and cyclists have ‘right of way’. On traffic signals, I saw police manning the signals even when the signals were working properly because only then people follow rules. And in another case, there were kids who had to stop and let the automobiles pass first.
We are one of the largest markets in the world and our economy is progressing. When I look around, I see all the best of brands available. People have a great life style – they drive fancy cars, eat in nice hotels, there is luxury available.
But when it comes to basic discipline in life like following rules, giving respect to one another on the road, or ones neighbor – I see that to be missing completely. We inherit various brands from western countries and get influenced in style, fashion, interior décor, dressing etc. But what we don’t get influenced on is patience, tolerance, respect for other individuals, following rules when on road, cleanliness….( the list can go on and on). The same people when they visit other countries, strictly live and breathe the rules of those countries and show pride in that.
I am not saying that everyone is like this, there are always some exceptions. But I am talking about how majority of population behaves. Same exceptions are in western countries too – there are people who break rules or laws but again the percentage of them is very low and you don’t see it on a regular basis .
This attitude really caught my eye this time. I felt that with growing economy and globalization, it is high- time we do something about this. We need to have a sense of respect for others. I think this is something that we as individuals need to develop in our society. We need to learn to respect others and try to ‘give way’ to others and not compete and push the ‘me’ culture. The world is looking at us, let’s change the way we behave, and adapt a sense of respect, concern, towards others around us and towards our country. Let’s start this from today by doing something as basic as holding the door for someone and not closing it on their face!!!
Will you join?
Contributed By – Sandeep Mathur
I am Sandeep Mathur…living in Seattle USA. If you don’t know about Seattle, it is a very serene, natural place, with lots of lakes and surrounded by hills. Living in such environment definitely helps in today’s fast pace world. I work for a large Consultancy firm for a big client here in the west coast. My passion is reading management, leadership and self-help books. I am a technical geek, started as a computer programmer few years back and now am into Management consulting. It has been an amazing journey when I look back – had good growth in my career, traveled quite a bit that has helped me meet a lot of people from different cultures and to grow and transform into a better individual.