So, here’s the thing about my job, I see a lot of people with issues. All kinds of issues: hygienic, rude, intelligence, taste, child-rearing, mental, maturity, etc. My first impulse was to be turned off from these people and get mad at them for behaving the way that they do. However, I then began to notice a trend. Those certain people would come in with their parents, children, siblings, grandparents or spouses and I would notice certain things. Some of the groups had three generations of rude, un-hygienic people. Some children who were hateful and disrespectful would come in a third time with their parents and the parents would treat me worse. I began to see that this had a lot to do with the way people were raised. In my mind, I can’t understand why being poor means you can’t bathe or brush your teeth. I completely understand that wearing nice clothes or clothes that were spotless is out of reach for them, but a toothbrush and toothpaste can be found at the dollar store and lasts for a long time. On the flip side, I don’t understand why being rich means you can’t have manners and treats others respectfully. You would think they would have enough money to feel happy and well-cared for and then turn that on others. However, some things that I value are simply not taught in other homes. Period. When I see three generations of people behaving in the same, unseemly way I begin to wonder if I can really blame the youngest for sure, but really any of them?
It makes me suddenly realize how important my actions and what I teach are. I was raised to never question certain things. We always have hygiene, we say please and thank you, we wear clean clothes, we walk with our shoulders back and smile at others. That isn’t to say that if I am sick on Saturday I may not wake up and brush my teeth or take a shower, I will probably just lay around moaning and demanding service from my husband. But day to day I do these things without question and I assume the majority of others will also.
My goal is to engrain even more things into my child’s head. We never recycled at my house growing up, that is something I learned in college and it is something that I have to constantly think about and get myself to do instead of being lazy. I hope that he sees it constantly and never thinks about it. The same goes for volunteering to help others, gardening, eating healthy and fresh, etc. Mr. Neruda and I have talked about making a list of things we want to make ourselves do religiously so that it will come more naturally for him.
I still find it difficult to deal with those people who ooze with issues. Sometimes the smell of them, or the abusive way they treat me makes it impossible to give them good service and not think ill of them. But I think I need to consider the issue a little more closely and just be thankful I was raised the way I was and consider some of their negative traits as things they don’t try to do, but have just been taught to do.