Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Family That Coughs Together

Curiously when I was on the ferry trip going to Iloilo, I was seated just in front of a family of four who seemed to have a severe cough. All of them - mother, father, and two small girls - were sniffling, coughing, and grunting during the 90 minute trip.

Normally this would not be a very disturbing thing for me. After all, I worked in a government hospital for a while, and was surrounded by sick people all the time. But in this case, I was disturbed not by their illness but by their wanton disregard for proper conduct. The mother, who had an exceptionally severe hacking cough, did not even bother covering up her mouth with her hand or a piece of cloth while she was coughing.

There is an increasing number of incidents that I witness people disregarding social norms for their own convenience. As I take public transport everyday, I would not fail to see a person (regardless of gender) sitting with his/her legs spread out - regardless of how cramped the jeepney is.

I do not wish to be the one to teach them Good Manners and Right Conduct, because for some of these people it is already too late to teach them any kind of manners at all. I only hope that this is not an indication of how morally bereft our culture has become.

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