Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Etiquette, Courtesy, Custom and Hypocrisy

It has become a habit now since over a year. After returning from my evening walk, I straight away go to the fridge, take out a lime (I see to it that it is always there!), prepare sherbet (nimbu pani) pour in two glasses, give one to my old girl, take a big gulp from mine, top up and go to take a shower. The habit gave much relief in peak summer. And to stand under cold shower was bliss!

The monsoon was in time this year. For over a week it poured heavyly. Akin to this part of the land, the temperature comes down rapidly after a good spell of monsoon showers, demanding warm blankets at night. But my habit of guzzling sherbet continued.

Today there was this neighbor woman at home discussing something with my old companion, who signaled me to make more sherbet. I did and offered a glass to the young woman. After sipping, this woman complimented me that my sherbet was good, having all the ingredients in right proportion. I thanked her and jokingly asked her to come everyday at the same time and have a glass! Her compliment was genuine.

From the way people compliment you for anything you do for them, you will come to know if that comes from the heart or just routine etiquette. There are people who possess all the skills to make you oblige but they simply vanish without a word of gratitude the moment they got their job done. You feel bad. Contrast this with those who thank you just as a civil custom without giving a damn to feel it. You feel worse. There are some other people yet, who take your good nature to help others in their need as your weakness and laugh behind your back despite having regular help from you. They simply take you for granted. Their facade is so wonderful, you don't ever feel you are being taken for a long ride. I pity you!

For those of you, young and energetic at the threshold of your life in a new job, raring to impress your boss, enthusiastic to build a career, lasting as well as satisfactory, learn to see the fine line between a hearty compliment and hypocrisy. This line is seldom visible and I am not telling you to look for this line when people compliment you but when you compliment people. If you are not able to feel gratitude at the bottom of your heart, I am afraid you have to depend on other devious methods for your success which will not take you far. Simply don't feel obliged if you cannot bring it out from the bottom; just smile. Also, there is peril in overdoing it - your complimenting, your way of showing your gratitude. It is like a tight rope walk which you certainly can do if you are keen to observe yourself.

Many management Gurus teach you to be thankful to others and also how to thank, perhaps profusely. They say it is an art, a very good art, which pays you back in truck loads. See?..  it is an art! It is not. It is virtue. Understand the difference.  And virtue cannot be taught, learnt and cultivated. You cannot buy a virtue. You cannot practice a virtue. Yes, thanking somebody for the little or big help they gave you, is virtue. The question of civil attitude, culture, courtesy or custom comes next. It is a virtue first and exists in every born human being. The only way to bring it out is to observe yourself. Without this observation of your own mind - how it feels when being helped by others - thanking becomes either mechanical at best or hypocrisy at worst.

Learn to feel the vibrant bottom of your heart. Success follows.

(please have a look at my other articles at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Damodar_Bhandarkar)

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