This evening I was at the Grand Prince Hotel’s Chinese Restaurant which is fairly popular at the area I live in. I went there to buy some food for my sister and after giving the order I had to wait for quite some time. While there, I observed a little event take place. And it got me thinking.
As you would guess, the Chinese restaurant I’m talking about is open to all, but it is expected that you will be at least nicely dressed before you enter — for whatever business — such a place. By nicely dressed I don’t mean business dress or tie-coat suit; I mean, some good clothes.
While I was waiting and looking down at the traffic jam in the streets through the glass, a woman entered the restaurant. By her dress-up and the way of talk, I immediately figured she wasn’t here to buy or eat anything. As much as I hate to say it, classification exists in the society and, while the restaurant I’m talking about is within the affordability of middle-class people like ourselves, lower-middle class or low class (for lack of better term, I guess) hardly ever go there.
So what was her purpose? Turns out she had entered to seek direction to a place. This was awkward as you would generally ask the security guard downstairs for direction, not go up second floor, enter into a restaurant and ask for direction from a waiter. Plus since the place was (all Chinese restaurants are, at least) mostly quiet, the woman had already captured attention of them to herself. I even caught some of them giving an annoyed look at her.
Fortunately for her, though, the waiter who had gone ahead to answer her question was a polite man. He gave her direction not once, not twice, but three times and he made sure that the woman had understood which way she needed to go to reach her destination. To say the least, the man was more polite than you would expect for a man at his place to be to a woman of her class (which, again I’m not so happy to say, the society mostly judges by her clothes and how she talks).
So after the woman had left, I looked at the man and I felt sort of a respect towards him. I don’t know what the rest of the people from the restaurant felt, but I certainly had respect for him. And that is what made me think the everlasting truth: Being respectful to others, no matter what class they are, doesn’t make you look uncool; it simply earns respect from others.
In other words, being polite earns you respect. You don’t magically look “cool” by being neglectful to the lower class people. But you do look better and earn respect from the people around you if you are polite and well-behaved to everyone.
I wish everyone understood that. (Then again, being polite sometimes makes other people think you’re weak. So I guess in the end I have to agree to the simple fact that, it’s a tough world we’re living in.)
Did you ever face a situation where being polite actually caused a negative reaction towards you?