Don’t want people to think I’m continually off on a rant about bad behavior when I post these rants about … well … bad behavior at the airports, at government offices and such, but, as my dear mother-in-law, Bessie has been known to say, "I’m old, and I can say things if I feel like it."
Well indeed we all can. I was prompted to post on this subject by a comment one of my faithful readers, Laurence made about children being taught to behave in schools, and schools being safer here than perhaps my country, USA or perhaps even in his country, Australia.
I was taught something a couple days ago by a little girl in my neighborhood, wish I had her name, I’ll find out on one of my trips to the store. Anyway, she’s about 6 or 7, likely a first grade student at one of the local schools … likely a small private academy, most of the kids in my area go to private schools, I’m note even sure where a public elementary school is in our town.
My wife and I had walked to our corner store ,,, only 100 meters or so from our front door, and as we were walking up to the store we were sharing some kind of joke and kidding between ourselves, including the subject of my hair … or lack of same. My wife said something about me being "kalbo" which is the generic Tagalog word for baldness.
The little girl was few feet from us, also walking toward the store window. Hearing my wife’s comment, the child piped right up and said to my wife, in Tagalog, "Po (pronoun of respect when speaking to elders), you shouldn’t speak about his baldness. it says so in my GMRC book and our GMRC lessons at school."
Wow! From the mouths of babes. Does your 7 year old even have a GMRC book? Does you children’s school have GMRC classes? (I’ll be happy to hear from anyone with comments on this, I about busted a gut laughing as I typed it, remembering my sons’ education and thinking of a US school teaching manners, especially with a book … but i digress). Would your seven year old assertively, but politely, correct an elder’s behavior in public? It sure surprised me.
Now I am not trying to convey that every Filipino walks around with an etiquette book under his or her arm, or that you won’t have people cut in line at the drug store or not get irritated by the noise and smell of the tricycles going up and down the street … but it does open one’s eyes a bit.
If you do a Google on Good manners and Right conduct, the whole first page will be Filipino blogs and web sites discussing the practices or lack of same, or who out there really needs to retake their GMNRC classes.
All part of the experience…..