This morning (i intended to post this on Friday), before settling in at work I sought for permission to attend to some banking matters. I drove to the parking area and parked at the last but one slot available which was behind another vehicle. Before I entered the bank I saw three able-bodied security men seated close to the entrance of the Bank and I politely extended morning greetings to them. Notice that it was not a mandatory requirement to say “Good morning” but I believe it’s the respectable thing to do.
I entered and got engaged in filling out the usual pay-in slips and other banking documentation that were required of the transaction I was currently undertaking. I sat down quietly in the queue waiting for my turn. I later noticed that one of the Security men I had earlier on greeted outside the bank was selectively going round trying to identify the driver of a vehicle. At the time I was not concerned because I assumed they had seen me driving in and walking to the bank so if it was my car (company car by the way) they would have headed straight to me……or so I thought. I then overheard them mentioning a Honda vehicle but like I said I was sure it wasn’t me. The security personnel then left and came back to his selective questioning of customers in the bank once again! By this time I had concluded it was my car but I decided not to interfere in his all-knowing mission….(mischief :)) It was a Friday so I wore a company t-shirt with pant leggings and sandals. It was at the point that they got frustrated with their fruitless search for this mysterious driver that they decided to make a general announcement in the banking hall. I gestured to them that it was mine and I overheard one of them saying, “Nti na )w)hen na y3 hwehw3 no?” meaning, “All this while we were looking for her, where was she?” I pretended that I hadn’t heard that, how was I supposed to live to your expectations of how you expected me to look like to be able to drive that particular car? I was helping them meet their expectations by being invisible…lol
I considered it unfair to be judged this way, probably because I accorded them the same level of respect without looking down on their role as security men only to be side tracked because I wasn’t dressed all rich and flashy to be able to naturally link me as the driver of the car. Or probably I also misjudged them since I have the body of a kid 😀 . I could have asked them why they didn’t come to me directly as they did with the other customers in the bank they had selectively pinpointed as probably looking the part fit for the driver of a Honda 4wd. Ah maybe I was also unfair, may be not, they were also unfair, maybe not………………..what if they had not judged on outward appearance? They would probably have given the equal opportunity to all by making an announcement in the banking hall in the first place instead of resorting to this approach out of desperate frustration?
“It’s natural as humans for our first instinct or impression to shout out, “Not in your circle. Below your circle. Not fit for purpose” but it is up to us to ignore that inner voice and bring out the civilised humanness in us.”
Unfortunately these misconceived notions are not uncommon in our society.
From the teachers being nicer to kids with rich parents to the market woman pricing her wares based on how richly dressed you look (I might be misjudging them since its price differentiation :)). It even happens in church, where the rich or richly dressed wannabees form cliques and there is the possibility of not including the actual rich people who don’t dress according to their wealth in their circle until the day of the great discovery. These judgements and societal expectations have even resulted in thieves dressing up to the occasion in order not to be seen as such and it makes it so easy for them to steal just because they don’t look like thieves.
All I am driving at is that we sometimes or should I say most often judge people based on their outward appearance and end up missing things. People are not accorded the same level of respect based on their outward appearance. It’s natural as humans for our first instinct or impression to shout out, “Not in your circle. Below your circle. Not fit for purpose” but it is up to us to ignore that inner voice and bring out the civilised humanness in us. Let’s make a conscious effort to work towards this end.
I know the world is unfair, but I sit here typing and thinking to myself, what if we didn’t have a society where people focusED more on the outward than on the inward? People might learn to live within their income instead of above their means and lastly what I pray would be the case, PEOPLE WOULD BE REAL, THEY WILL BE THEMSELVES!
Thanks for reading this seemingly confusing what-if post which I just had to blog about :). Let me know your thoughts.