Standing in front of the 7 Seas mall lower basement lift to go to the top floor. Navneel was holding my hand and Hiya was standing little far away. Lift reached our floor and opened. People came out of it as if their survival was compromised inside the lift. People standing outside were eager to enter as if there is a gold biscuit distribution inside the lift on first come first serve basis. I being an arrogant first class citizen of Bharat with lots of pseudo etiquette in my head, was standing to get my turn holding Navneel’s hand tightly so that he does not run to get inside the lift. But I forgot that he has cosmic energy in him and I was having only food energy. His energy defeated mine and he ran inside the lift finding way through the gaps in between legs. He went inside and secured a place for himself and started his experiment on truth. I got the chance to be the last one in the crowd and had to sand in such a position that lift door brushed through my nose tip while closing. But I did not let my spine bend or arrogance soften.
Hiya observing all these asked, “Baba, why didn’t you try to go early then we could have secured a better place inside the lift.”. I said proudly and in a grave voice, “This is etiquette.”. By the time she was processing this word with 3Ts in this word, We were out of the lift in one of the floors where there are many shops. We walked towards a shop and I pulled the handle of the door to open it. There were many people who were inside the shop started walking out as if they were waiting for me to open the door. Hiya and Navneel tried to push them to go inside but I held them back. Then those people came out leisurely. The only thing missing was, me telling them ‘Thank you’ or saluting them. One gentleman walking out using his most precious organ (i.e. Cellphone) and stood just at the door to think before speaking. He took his time as his time is his own. I stood there with a smile and waited for him. So finally when I saw nobody was coming outside, I let the kids go and then I walked inside. This time Hiya asked, “Baba, why were you waiting for them to come out? You could have gone inside first as you opened the door.”. I smiled at her and said, “Etiquette, Mamma! Etiquette”.
She continued her thought on this subject till we crashed on bed after returning back. She asked me “Baba, Why we need to show etiquette and why only you were showing etiquette?”. I said, “Everybody should show etiquette. May be nobody taught them.”. She asked again, “But, why do we need to show etiquette?”. This time the emphasis was on ‘Why’. This made me think. I have shown etiquette till date because somebody taught me when I was a kid but I never thought ‘Why?’ till date. The response that I gave immediately was, “We must follow etiquettes so that we do not cause discomfort to anybody. So that everybody in the society feels comfortable.”. Then she immediately questioned, “What about our comfort? It looks like etiquette is only for us to give comfort to others.”. This question was bit tough for me to answer. Then I referred to dictionary.
1.conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
2.a prescribed or accepted code of usage in matters of ceremony, as at a court or in official or other formal observances.
3.the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other: medical etiquette.
1740–50; < French étiquette, Middle French estiquette ticket, memorandum, derivative of estiqu ( i ) er to attach, stick < Germanic.
1. Etiquette, decorum, propriety imply observance of the formal requirements governing behavior in polite society. Etiquette refers to conventional forms and usages: the rules of etiquette. Decorum suggests dignity and a sense of what is becoming or appropriate for a person of good breeding: a fine sense of decorum. Propriety (usually plural) implies established conventions of morals and good taste: She never fails to observe the proprieties
So, what I understood from it is, a code of conduct that is agreed upon by all in a polite society. Now question comes, Are we a polite society? Have we agreed upon a code of conduct? if Yes then this question should not arise and if not, then also this question should not arise.
Need help in understanding so that I can respond to Hiya? Please let me know your responses through comments.
– Stray Dog