Catch someone doing something right!

There are so few people who are pleasant, thoughtful and courteous in public places that it makes sense to appreciate them to encourage more such behaviour. I’ve come across policemen stopping traffic to help an elderly person cross the road and have given them an appreciative smile. You should see their faces light up in return, knowing their act of thoughtfulness was appreciated. You can be sure that they will do it again! Similarly, there are so few people being thoughtful or courteous on the road that it will absolutely pay to appreciate a good turn. Think I’m exaggerating? Next time you’re driving, or riding your two-wheeler, stop for some pedestrians who’ve been waiting a long time to cross the road, and see their response! Most will look at you in total shock and suspicion, but there are a few that will smile at you in appreciation. Do enough of that when appropriate, and hopefully it will encourage more people to do the same. In a bus, get up for an elder and see the respect you will get, even if the elder, embarrassed by your generosity, just looks sternly out the window! More than anything else, rest assured you’ve brought some relief and happiness into someone’s life by these little acts of kindness and thoughtfulness. That will certainly count in the here after don’t you think? More than anything else, if it results in a slow adoption of similar behaviour, can you imagine what Chennai will be like? After all, that’s what makes a city livable- a sense of community and caring. Call me whatever you want- an optimist, a romantic or what ever, but just try it. Please?

11 Comments so far

  1. K.Shyam (unregistered) on June 14th, 2007 @ 10:02 pm

    Be the change that you want to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi.

    And yes, I have tried it all along for the past 5 or so years. It does feel good to oneself too.

  2. Govar (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 12:59 am

    Don’t want to be too negative sounding here, but I just feel like a jack-you-know-what standing in signal coz there is a red light. They just honk the brains out of you. It happened today, it happened yesterday and am pretty sure it’s going to be happen tmrw.

    I guess our culture is a little uncultured for all niceties. People don’t mind spitting in public, don’t mind cursing you for doing what is right – stopping in a red signal, and worst of all, don’t even dim their lights when you flash multiple times. I sometimes think I need to put 10 front lights in my car just to prove a point to all the idiots out there. Duh!

  3. ss (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 10:36 am

    I guess you are still in the 50s to 70s!! These days I don’t see any people like that. Even if some old person tries to go past in queues they were questioned and not helped. The attitudes of people have changed in this fast world. Nobody knows who is living next door in their respective aparment, and everyone these days are running behind only one thing, that is “Money”

  4. Ozzy Rules (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 11:22 am

    “Call me whatever you want- an optimist, a romantic or what ever”

    I will call you Munna Bhai from Lage Raho Munna Bhai :)

    David, don’t listen to these guys and keep away from pessimists. I have done what you are saying and have gotten the same positive response that you are talking about.

    keep up the good work. you might run into jerks from now and then but predominantly you will get a warm response.

    Good luck

  5. Santhosh (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

    i have been doing it ever since i experienced it abroad. yes its a very nice thing to do and have been doing it for over 6 years. some respond by waving and a few don;t but it is one thing everyone must learn to do. glad to find like minded people around.

  6. Anonymous Coward (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

    Thanks David.

  7. Nivas (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 7:31 pm

    nice to hear things like this. i am sure these small things will make a difference..
    and it makes i have experienced myself at many times…

  8. potpourri (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 9:57 pm

    Oh My God, David! This post could not have come at a better time.
    Just this Tuesday I had someone help me like that.

    When I left home to pick up my toddler from the babysitter it was very sunny and bright. After picking him up,I went elsewhere to run errands and it starting pouring like crazy. I got stuck in the rain and after waiting for the rain to subside,I decided it will be wiser to take the next bus home. I was waiting for the “WALK” signal to appear and this lady came running with an umbrella “Ma’am Ma’am,please take this umbrella” I told her I was going to take the next bus in 10 mins but she was very insistent. I had a baby in the baby carrier, who was getting drenched, so I took it as God sent and thanked her in a hurry and crossed the road. I turned back to wave to her or thank her once again, she was gone! I was so touched that such goodness exists even now. She did not even wait to be gratified..she just went her way after giving her umbrella to me!
    You know what, it has motivated me to look for opportunities to help someone(stranger or not) even if they don’t ask for it.

  9. neoflys (unregistered) on June 17th, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

    a great post. kind of posts which makes me come back to this blog.
    I completely believe in doing right things and believe i can make a change in the society i live in and i am appreciated quite many times for the rights things i have done.

    few right things i do …
    – always carry the junk papers and plastics and throw it in bins,
    – not to accelerate the bike till amber lights comes up in signal
    – push the chair back towards table after dinning
    – hold the door and wait if someone near you is going to access the door
    – guide the blind person after knowing that he/she could use some help

  10. david (unregistered) on June 17th, 2007 @ 5:28 pm

    Thank you all. Its so very encouraging to see so many positive responses to this post. Thanks also for sharing your experiences, and your own efforts to make our world a better place! I’d like to share this quote in addition to Shyam’s contribution: “Want to change the world? Start with yourself!” Lets just keep doing what we believe in, knowing it will touch and inspire people to do the same.

  11. karthik (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 8:04 pm

    This is a part of the culture I see in US (seattle). And that’s definitely one thing I want to take back home(India) from here.

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