Thank you for visiting “Life and Random Thinking” today. – David
When I was little I visited my Baba and Guido in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. If you have never heard of that place I understand. Kindersley is not a major city. I visited my grandparents there when I was about 1965. Baba and Guido had me all to myself for about a month in the summer.
It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about small town life, and as I have previously mentioned my grandparents before.
Click here to read more about these wonderful people.
The lessons I remember Baba teaching me were simple ones but essential in my opinion.
- Please and Thank-you are not optional words.
- The Golden Rule is #1
The first rule above seems obvious. Use our manners say “please” and “thank you”.
It is how we show respect, appreciation, and give recognition and it should be automatic regardless of whether a person is doing their job.
How she taught me or reminded me.
Baba took me to a restaurant and she bought me a glass of coca-cola. I was about 6 or 7 years old and I reached for the drink. Baba stopped me, and nicely called the waitress back. She asked me if I knew what to say to the lady. I remembered then and said thank you. Baba smiled and let me drink. (it makes me smile now – I am sure I needed to be reminded of this lesson a few times but she was always sweet.)
As a grizzled veteran of life now, I see the value of manners especially when I see the difference that proper manners make and it saddens me when I see it lacking.
The second rule is The Golden Rule is #1.
I really think the Golden Rule is related to Please and Thank You. It is how you behave towards others.
I really think it also has to do with how as people we should place an equal emphasis on responsibilities as we do on rights.
This leads to an article I read in the Globe and Mail newspaper recently by Frank Ching.
Frank Ching is a journalist in Hong Kong and his article was called “Why Eastern countries are more successful in fighting COVID-19″
A quote from the article.
To a large extent, it has to do with societal values. The West generally and the United States in particular focuses on the individual, the rights, freedoms and accomplishments of men and women. In Confucian society, the emphasis is on the community, and an individual is taught to put the group’s interests ahead of his or her interest.
In East Asia, the acceptance of masking for hygiene is almost universal, and has been the case for a while. There is recognition of its value where public health is concerned. Even where governments don’t mandate it, people voluntarily don the face covering, considering it a matter of courtesy to others as much as protection for oneself.
Confucian societies emphasize harmony and discipline. Rights are generally coupled with responsibilities.
Both the Chinese and the American constitutions set out protections for rights, though the implementation is quite different in the two countries.
The Chinese constitution is notable for coupling rights with responsibilities. For example, Article 51 declares: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China, in exercising their freedoms and rights, may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society or of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.”
Thus, rights are to be exercised in a responsible manner; an individual’s rights are subordinate to the community’s rights.
The willingness by Asian countries to wear masks for hygiene and respect for others is part of their culture, and lead to the wonderful results in declining exposure and deaths from Covid.
In his article Frank Ching points out that Western countries have not been as successful as Asian countries in dealing with the pandemic due to their emphasis on individual rights.
What do you think?
The Golden Rule and the (click to read) Confucian rules to live by seem to me to be identical.
Baba was right “treat others as you would like to be treated” and remember to say “Please” and “Thank you”.
Thanks Baba, again. – David