Article by : Prof. Mukta Mukherjee, Assistant Professor, Calcutta Business School
The old proverb is that the habits die hard. Usually, an education brings some humbleness and politeness in a person, provided that the education is true in nature. Here true education does not mean in literal sense that whether the person has an education degree and to what extent but to what extent is that has been absorbed in true sense. As there is another proverb that empty vessels sound too much.
I will try to illustrate the above discussion with few facts that I have faced and led the readers decide who they consider educated in true sense and whether they consider a person polite behavior as their weakness. First, when I was almost in completion of my high school in a very reputed girls school in Kolkata where they charge exorbitant tuition fees for students and admission is difficult to obtain in such a school, a student was asked to get a duster from another class when the teacher found that the duster is not available, she flatly refused. On second occasion, when I was abroad to pursue my higher studies another Indian student who had already completed his Doctorate degree and on that occasion his parents were visiting his graduation ceremony made a visit to my apartment. While comparing notes on lifestyle of India and USA, the cold temperature of Delhi and USA were being compared. Then his mother stated that at-least it was a relief that she was getting warm water to do the dishes, and both son and father laughed that they at-least do not have to the dishes there because of the presence of their mother both in USA and India for his father(an IAS). Further, the son emphasized the fact his mother does not know what is a Doctoral Degree as she herself does not possess one. On a third occasion, I had seen the best student of our batch who had just got a tenure track Assistant Professorship job blurting out to my immediate advisor in a department talk that as he is not yet succeeded to a Professorial Position he does not know what is a Professor as such?
As all of knows that whatever goes around comes around also. The teachers in some case can also be rude too. In my opinion the situation is worse in that case as children imitate their parents we imitate our teachers consciously or unconsciously (as they also help to develop our up- bringing or develop our nature). This is purely mainly because in any educational institution the teacher and students spend a considerable time. I remember the Calcutta University Topper in Economics who was supposed to take some of our finance classes on monetary specialization, came and after self-introduction made a point that all the bright students have brain drain to either Delhi School of Economics or to Jawaharlal Nehru University and only the mediocre or below mediocre are remaining behind. Also, his immediate advisor of Doctoral degree was frustrated that the level of education in Calcutta University is comparable to that of Municipal Corporation School. I remember when I had to face an interview for my research job in Delhi the director learning that I had stood 8th rank in in http://M.Sc among 200 students in our batch, remarked that absorption rate of Economics in Calcutta University is that of a species.
The only hope that gives me when I saw that another male Chinese student who was very bright and couple of batch seniors wanted to pull my bag being a lady. His wife was a scholar from London School of Economics and he ultimately got a placement among the top university of China. The children’s in the street whose parents have a hard time to make their ends meet are trying to study on their own. Their so called tutor is just few years above their age is teaching them the study material. Although, the lights are not enough for them to study and can harm their young eyes when they are studying. Let’s, not forget that not all of us have the luxury to study and can enjoy our childhood. When you give them sweet or toffees they are very happy and have learnt to say thank you in many occasions unlike some of the adults who seek help from you to cross the road but do not say a thank you for the gesture.
I am a strong believer that a person politeness should not be considered his or her weakness. Therefore, if we are giving our sit to a senior citizen or our ex-teachers it should not be laughed out at either end. If we start take things for granted it usually blast at our face. At least a nice gesture should not be taken for granted then rudeness will become the alternative norm in the society. A tip I which is usually given to the job market candidates in best universities while hiring is that a thank you note should be written to people whose campus you are visiting. The department observes that how many of the fly-out candidates (people who are in the final round usually not more than three) write a thank you note. The purpose of a fly-out is to see whether a candidate should be absorbed in the campus as such. The small things make a big difference in a life. When life is short as such let’s make merry and enjoy it as such.