It’s all about manners!

Ephrem Endale  Contributer

 Speaking of manners, Addis seems to have a lot of catching up to do. Where have all those day-to-day Good Samaritans gone to? Where is that “Enen Yidfagn!” when someone stumbles literally? When someone stumbles and hits the ground saying “Enen Yidfagn!” us like saying like “I wish I was the one who stumbled,” though not in its literal meaning. It’s just one tiny example of how pole wanted each other’s good.

This is a nation where a complete stranger lost …would sleep under some tree or something. Just as a little recap, in the countryside a traveler for whom night has fallen in a place he’d never been to is in visited into a certain household; fed hot dish; have his feet thoroughly washed by the hosts, and finally get the master bed while his hosts sleep on the ground.

That wasn’t paranoia or some rehearsal done for the sake of catching someone’s attention. It was genuine humanity. It was morality at its best. You don’t turn away those who nock on your door seeking some kind of help; you make life easier for them.

Thus the question is what has got in this age to make us so self-centered, so greedy, and so careless as to the condition of our fellow humans! At which station did we miss the train?

 This story happened at a very busy traffic stop. The lights were turned on red and there were rows of cars with impatient drivers behind the wheels waiting for the lights to change. Isn’t it rather odd for drivers to honk while the light is red? What in the world are they thinking! Hey, the light is red! And, just as a refresher to your driving expertise, if you’ve got any issue with the red lights go let out your team at the traffic police. They wouldn’t be short of responses.

Anyways while the lights were still red an elderly woman who seems to be losing her battle with age stumbles at the curb and barely holds at some pole with a very unsteady hand.

All of a sudden, a youngish driver opens his car rushes to the other side of the street, slowly picks the elderly woman up and moves her to safety! His reaction was so fast that he saved the woman from further harm. You can see the relief on the woman’s face.

Seldom do such acts of humanity happen these days. And you know what the drivers behind the young man’s car were honking like hell! What is wrong with us people! They all see what was happening and they do that! When you thought another driver would join the rescue they are honking!

 Look, the conventional wisdom should have been manners should dictate everything in life. Good manners! Three cheers for you. Bad manners! Maybe, you should be reading some Napoleon Hill or similar stuff. You’re might be your charming best; but without the good manners it kind of falls flat; we see that happen over and again.

“Do you have anything to do Saturday evening?”

“I wanted to take you to a place you should see.” ‘Should see’ is a strong ‘magnet.’ And when “Everything is on me,” is added you need real nerves to say “No, thank you.”

“What exactly do you want me to see?”

“You should have to see it to know what it is.”

Maybe he was being over-dramatic. Then he tells me certain things that have become common nightlife stuff in Addis. And we thought we knew this city! But then when you look in retrospect many things were bound to happen. It was a matter of time. The signs were there we turned our backs.

“Come on a couple of hours wouldn’t be that bad! By the time we return the world wouldn’t go anywhere. How about that?”

 Slowly your defenses are worn out. You know, that wobbly legs and the racing heartbeat thing. “Ok; since you….” Wait! Weren’t you saying you would compromise your beliefs for nothing! The guy is going to take you to a place you might regret later! So, what happened? Did anyone get to you by the back door? Or is it because promised something you wouldn’t refuse? Or was it her saying, “If you say no to him, I’m packing up this evening!”

And again, speaking of manners gone awry there are the text messages come in one after the other. A company whose bad services caused your medical bills to go through the roof is texting every other day telling you they’re the best in the business.

You get messages someone you never heard of saying, “Let’s chat.” Chat with a complete stranger! About what” In an age when you realized you didn’t really know the people you thought you did why, oh why, would you chat with a complete stranger!

“Let’s chat!”

“NO! I don’t want to! Get the hell out of my phone! And what’s more, do something about your profile picture; not very marketable.

It’s all about manners!

The Ethiopian Herald June 27/2021

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