Monday, August 15, 2011

Freedom lesson from the Mall - PART 1

Yes, that's the last place you expect to be taught anything - except that consumerism is good.

The visit was planned after all who doesn't want a good bargain. Yet, there is something about our (was accompanied by my younger sis) shopping ways that even on a SALE day, we picked something on FULL MRP! Sorry I digress.

Standing in queue, I patiently waited my turn. In front of me, a young couple (early 20s) stood. They looked really happy - two shopping bag full on their either side bore testimony. The hep-looking guy (he had two piercing on his left ear! I thought looked chic!) tapped his debit/credit card, patience wearing off. Suddenly, an older bearded man cut in line, stood ahead of me and behind the couple, handed the merchandise to the guy at the counter.

The girl yelled at the man, asking him to get in the line. The man yelled back, informing her that he take already told the guy at the counter he was coming back. Without listening, she shot back abuses at him, to which the bearded man reacted and asked her to shut up. Her beau, by now started nudging the bearded man, yelling at the top of his voice - "How dare you speak rudely to her!". He pushed the bearded man, who grabbed the guy's shirt, pushed him back. The young guy almost punched the bearded man.

Everyone around was aghast, their shopping experience ruined (they were getting delayed) some felt annoyed and some others enjoyed the 'fight scene'. I was too close to the scene and was scared I would get hit if any one of them missed the punch and so stepped back gingerly, hoping not to step on someone's foot.

Just in time the store manager appeared, intervened - promised the bearded guy that his purchased merchandise would be billed first - "But, Sir, please come to the side." The man left fuming - stood a few feet away.

And I got back to where I was standing - behind the couple. What I did not expect was the giggle of the girl. She was somehow amused at the whole scene. She felt nice that her man "fought for her" and tried to calm the rattled guy who didn't mind calling the man - M*therF****ER, etc. And then, as if she was soothing a child, the girl said - "Forget it, these people don't know how to behave. She saw me looking at her and smiled. I didn't understand what she meant by these people.

I was still trying to figure what that meant, when I heard what she said next - these low class people don't know how to shop". I was apalled. I couldn't believe I had heard what she had said. As if reading my mind, she said it again! She called the bearded man that because unlike this 'cool, chic couple' he was dressed simply - in a pant and a shirt and was slightly darker complexioned.

Her beau, pacified a little said - "Ya, that M*therF****ER grabbed my shirt, just imagine! I would have punched him."

Really? Is this how HIGH CLASS people talk! I was disappointed and felt angry. Not only had the couple branded this man from a low class, they felt it was very sophisticated to hurl abuse after abuse on that man.

Did their education teach them this? Were they right to misbehave with a man who was slightly elder to them? Would they talk to their parents like this?

It got me thinking. Are we really free? Is this what freedom means? To disrespect and be rude and to abuse.

There is some time before we truly attain indendepence - from biases.

We will be independent, the day -
we rid ourselves of biases,
we respect the other person as we would want to be respected and
we allow space for dialouge.

For personally, I feel if the couple had requested politely and heard the man - this wouldn't have happened.

Freedom comes with responsibility and we shouldn't forget that.

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