The Art of Behaving

Treat Everyone The Way You Want Others To Treat You. 

Actually, I am in a bit of pain. And I am writing this article to express what I feel about human behaviour. I am in pain because I see that the people I live with—whom I call my family—are largely insensitive in their behaviour. I don’t know about you, but when your own family members don’t treat you rightly, it pains. When I see that my own family doesn’t accept me for who I am and want to change me according to their models, when I see no one in the family has actual sincere regard for anyone else, when I see they are just living together, but there is no such thing as togetherness, how can I say I’m not in pain?

Leave others. To expect that someone will have heartfelt feelings for somebody is a bit of too much expectation. But, when you realise even in a family everyone is disconnected from everyone else, nobody has any deep, real bond with others, it’s a painful realisation to get. And I see that in my family. 

I am not saying they don’t love each other. They do. But, their love is all corrupted, heavily contaminated. No true feelings can grow in those contaminated waters. It’s all a very twisted affair of fulfilling each others’ desires, protecting each other from various insecurities, and using each other for their own pleasures. No sign of true feelings. 

Sorry, I got a little carried away. Now, what’s the right way to behave with others? Not just with strangers, our colleagues, our relatives and with our family members, but with anybody. How to behave— with a child,  with an aged person, with a beggar, with man or woman, rich or poor? 

You may have seen we show more respect and concern to people with power or money. If a government officer or a rich man comes to your house, and if a beggar or a poor man comes at your door, do you treat them equally? Do you feed them equally? Do you show the same respect and concern to the latter as well? You know what, how a person behaves with a stranger or with someone who he thinks is lower in status than him, reveals his nature as a human. It’s easy to behave politely, respectfully and with much regard with someone who is your superior—maybe your boss or your higher authority or a rich man or some celebrity. But how you behave with the local newspaper boy, the tea seller, the hawkers, the rickshaw pullers, the beggars and the poor—reveals your true nature. A good man is one who treats even the beggars with regard. And not just man, a good man is also good with animals. He/She will not treat anyone or any animal badly. That person is truly a good man. 

Self-reflection

Now, how do you behave with others? Just reflect for some time. Is your behaviour arrogant, friendly, compassionate, loving…or what? What do you think would brush up your behaviour? What do you think are the drawbacks of your behaviour?

You see, we often try to change others’ behaviour, and we keep complaining about the same. But we never change our behaviour! We think we are right in our attitude, and they are wrong. We want to change others, but not us. First, we must correct ourselves! 

The Right Way To Behave

These are my principles of right behaving. I follow them. And you can follow them too.

  1. Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated: If I expect politeness, honesty, helpfulness from others, I must inculcate them in my behaviour also. If I want others to listen to me with deep attention, I must learn to listen like that in the first place. 
  2. Treat Everyone With Equal Dignity: Every human being has a dignity of their own. We must never hamper that dignity. Doesn’t matter how lowly or insignificant that person is to us. And it applies to animals also. I will stretch it further. Animals also have a basic dignity. They are animals, but in no case, worthy of our bad treatment and vile. 
  3. Don’t Look Up To Anybody, Don’t Look Down On Anybody: Don’t unnecessarily exaggerate someone in importance, nor undermine someone. Give everyone their worth of importance. Otherwise, it’ll create hierarchies. And it leads to inequality and injustices. See everyone for who they are, not for what they have or don’t have. 
  4. Always Keep Your Ego Aside: Ego destroys everything. It’s a bad company to have. Never let your ego take the better out of you. Ego only knows division and boundaries. Always hold your ego at arm’s length.
  5. Never Abuse Someone Verbally: Words go deep. And leave their mark for a long time. Use your words as medicine or music for the soul. Don’t use them as arrows or bullets to kill hearts. They can be used in both ways, you know. Be kind and truthful in your words. 

I have written an article on just this— how verbal abuse is a form of verbal violence. Read it here

Last Words

If others don’t behave with you kindly or lovingly, it doesn’t mean we should also do the same. Don’t think about others. You behave rightly, that’s all. Let others learn from your example. Never lose your qualities for others’ misdemeanour. Be gentle in behaviour, kind in speech, loving in heart and strong in character. That’s all. 

Thank you.
Image Credit: istockphoto.

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Alok Singha

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