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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rights and obligations

This afternoon, I was hurrying through the rain to do my food shopping (already 5 years without car), as it was raining too hard to go by bike. On returning from the supermarket, I came across a group of youngsters who had been sporting. They occupied the entire pavement and it was clear they would not move aside for an older person.

Well, then my stubborn soul says 'to hell' and so I just continued walking, keeping to the right as I should - and waited until the first kid would bump into me. My elbows are quite sharp and still good enough to cause some bruises (satisfied grin).... And then I waited until he'd say he was sorry. They stare at you like you're out of the world, but I used my trained teacher's glance and finally the word 'sorry' came over the lips. Okay, they'll remember next time - hopefully.

I notice a lots of younger ones miss the elementary rules of polite conduct. They are always full of their rights, but forget they have duties as well. When I was a kid, I was told that the elder deserved our respect and we should make space for them on train and bus, give up a chair, open the door for them.

In some other cultures people still show respect. Last year I had to take a bus to my school, which was always more than full. If someone gave up his or her seat to me, it was mostly a boy or girl of foreign origine. And every now and then some kid who's still raised to show respect by his parents.

Instead of spending time in teaching religion at schools,  they'd better give some lessons in polite behavior. That would not come amiss!

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