Ramadan is over. Did we break a habit? For sure – temporarily, that is. No eating, drinking…. But did we really break a habit, as in bad habits? That is the idea of Ramadan, right?
So we all know about the book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. What about Highly Ineffective Habits? Here are my pet peeves.
Bad Habit #1
It’s party time. Or at least I planned it that way. 6 pm arrival, 7 pm dinner…. Well guess what! No matter what, some guests always come late. One hour late is no big deal. And they are not fazed. No apologies, no ‘I was stuck in traffic’. Some of my friends have found a work-around. “Sabeeha, party time is 6 pm, but for you it is 7 pm.” On one hand I don’t have to sit alone for an hour waiting for the next guest to arrive, when I could be writing my blog. On the other hand, aren’t we giving late-comers a pass, as in ‘we know you will be late but there is nothing we can do about it.’ The host will wait until the last guest has arrived before she serves dinner, because the late guest will feel dissed if the host didn’t wait for them. Well, I too have found a work-around. I don’t wait. I will serve dinner at 7, because guess what! Its not fair to the guests who come on time. Period. My house; My rules. And now, allow me to qualify. Not all my friends are late-comers; only my desi friends—not all of them—but always my desi friends. Puzzled? Desis are people of Pakistani-Indian descent.
It’s not just the parties. It’s public places, mosques; and its always: Lets wait for more people to come. Latecomers know that nothing will start without them, so why bother. Didn’t Ramadan teach us that we must start our fast dot on the clock, and break our fast just as the sun dips over the horizon? At iftar parties, don’t people always come right at iftar time, and not a minute late, because sundown is not going to wait for them. Didn’t our grandparents teach us about respect for time; that it is not fair to keep people waiting. In Ramadan, we inculcated the habit of timeliness. Can we make it a yearlong habit?
Bad Habit #2
Ever been in a lecture and when it is time for Q&A, instead of someone asking a question, they make a speech? I was at an event where a speaker’s talk generated interesting questions. After the first few questions, a man stood up, made a comment an then started giving a sermon. I looked at the moderator, willing him to intervene. He said nothing. By the time the sermon was over, the moderator announced that there was no more time for further questions. That frustrated the audience (and me). I walked up to the moderator and had a talk. He was feeling bad about it too, and said that this man is an imam, and if he had intervened, he would have been blamed for being disrespectful.
Bad Habit #3
Never before have I felt that walking on a sidewalk would be hazardous to my life. But in this age of cell-phone zombies, my life is at stake. People walking with their eyes on their phone-in-hand, not looking where they are going or who they are going to bump into, or tripping over a stroller. Speaking of which, nannies are crossing the street, pushing the stroller in one hand (twin babies), holding the phone in the other hand, and eyes on the phone. If a car honks, no worries, the earphones silence the honking. I am constantly dodging the cell-phone-zombies. They know that people will jump out of their way, giving them an open sidewalk. Pizza deliveryman on the bicycle, man on a motorcycle, school bus drivers…you name it. The bitter frosting on the cake was when I boarded a flight this week. As I entered the aircraft, I saw the pilot through the cockpit window—texting. Not one to be shy, my husband told the flight attendant as she welcomed us with a smile, “The pilot is at the controls, texting.” She laughed it off saying he won’t do that when he is flying.
Video courtesy of Baaniooo