The other day, I was listening to an audio sermon on Chinese Philosophy (by Rev. DR. Stephen Tong), and this statement caught my attention:
The younger generation today tend to IGNORE basic mannerism.
Well, I have to say, I totally agree.
Stand up while shaking hands with others, especially if they’re older than youYou see, I am an Indonesian of Chinese descent. My grandparents were born in mainland China in the early 1920s.
And since I was 14 years old, I mostly lived away from my family, spending 9 years in Australia, 13 years in Singapore and the last 2 years back in Jakarta.
Looking at the different ‘phases’ of my life and the kinds of cultures I was exposed to while growing up, I must say that, by now, I have consciously chosen to adopt a mixture of both western and eastern cultures (as much as I possibly and consciously can, the better ones of each culture =)
Ever since I became a mom 10 years ago, I realise I’ve consciously passed down these values and principles to my three children too.
What kinds of values, some may wonder.
Here are three basic ones that I’d like to share with you today.
(I hope to share the others in a different post =)
1. Stand up while shaking hands with others, especially if they’re older than you
When someone older than us says ‘Hello!’, approaches us and extends his arm towards us, be sure to stand up while shaking hands with him.
Because it’s a way to show our respect.
2. Always, always, look at people in the eye when you shake hands with them, when you talk to them, when you say thank you, when you apologise, etc.
No matter what you’re doing at that moment, if you’re shaking hands with people, smile and look at them in the eye. It’s our basic gesture of respect and appreciation towards others.
The same applies when we say thank you or sorry … look at them in the eye, because it means you mean what you say.
3. Always say ‘Hello!’ and greet others (family or friends), especially those who are older than you, when you meet them for the first time that day (enter their car, their homes, etc)
Like, when someone is giving you a lift, and you’ve just hopped into the car, you must greet everyone, eg. ‘Hello Auntie XYZ!’ (and always say ‘Thank you’ before getting off)
Or, when we’re visiting other people’s homes, or when people are visiting our home, as we / they enter the home, … greet and say hello. Even better, greet them by name, eg. ‘Hello Uncle ABC …’
Another example, if you can extend it further and politely greet the bus driver as you hop on, … it’s even better.
(You never know if you’ve just made someone’s day just by doing a simple gesture of appreciation)
we’re now living in an era where there’s a strong tendency to disconnect with those around usYou may wonder, why so much emphasis on ‘greeting others’ and teaching the kids to look at people in the eye?
Well, because I feel , we’re now living in an era where there’s a strong tendency to disconnect with those around us, to feel more comfortable when interacting with machines than with other human beings.
And, it is somewhat easier (and regarded as ‘normal’ by many, too) to focus on ‘my own world’ than appreciating the presence of others in ‘our world’.
Anyway. While we’re on this topic, I remember how someone said to me the other day,
‘Children these days are so different. They are not as polite as before. When they meet people, when they’re called, when people say hello and want to shake their hands, these days, it’s common to see children / youngsters who continue to play their games, not lifting their eyes off the screen!’
To the above statements, my thoughts are: it all comes back to the parents, their main caregivers, the kinds of exposure they receive everyday, and the kinds of values and principles instilled in these children since young?
I mean, children’s basic behaviours are inevitably influenced by ‘how’ they’re brought up and their surrouding, yes?
They need to learn important values and principles from us parents, while we too walk our talk everydayIf you ask me, I say, all children need guidance.
They need to see genuine living examples.
They need to learn important values and principles from us parents, while we too walk our talk everyday.
The thing is, we are all far from perfect ourselves.
So, what should we do?
Well, I believe, as long as we try and struggle everyday to do what we believe as right, … that is the start we all need.
Also, when our children see how we too genuinely struggle, just like them, everything becomes more real for them, … and together we learn to depend on God’s help even more.
Food for thought.
Any thoughts to share?