Habits die hard. To kick or change unpleasant habits cannot be achieved overnight. What is needed is a regular drill and constant monitoring.
Conventional wisdom has it that to become better, one does not have to do anything extraordinary. Simply, shed bad or negative qualities. This ‘load shedding’ would tilt the balance in favour of goodness over a period of time.
“Over a period of time” is the key part in this whole transformational exercise.
Take, for instance, children’s nail-biting habit, not a desirable one from hygiene point of view. No doubt, nail biting helps many to access their creativity! Parents wanting to help their wards to shed this unhealthy habit have to possess loads of patience because this has become second nature to children. Some parents resort of applying castor oil on the finger tips in the belief that the smell and taste of castor would prevent the nail-lip connect. That is what my mother to wean me away from this ‘dirty’ habit!
Truck drivers too are creature of some unpleasant habits. For instance, their insistence on washing their mouth and hands before and after partaking lunch at highway dhabas from wherever they are seated. They do not get up and go to the wash basin or outside the dhaba into the open to wash. In the process, the entire dhaba is rendered unhygiene.
The dhaba owner knows this, but turns a Nelson’s eye because to him, this is a value added service he provides to his clientele! Customer satisfaction! What if his insistence turns away potential driver customers away from his dhaba? Business matters a lot.
Will these clients (drivers) behave similar fashion in their own home? Doubtful. What doubtful? They would not. 100% Why? Because it is their own home whereas where they indulge in this kind unhealthy habit is someone else’s dhaba where they are visitors. They don’t find anything wrong on dirtying someone else’s premise. Wrong belief.
Can this be reversed? Can this bad habit be rectified and help drivers to maintain their surroundings neat and clean and also in the process help dhaba owner to provide better environment? Yes, it is possible.
What needs to be done is very simple. Diplomatically begin telling his clients not to wash or spit at their seats. Direct them to the wash basin. They may be some resistance initially. By and large, all will fall in line in the course of time.
Net result: better table etiquette and cleaner dhaba.
Yes, this change cannot be brought about in one or two days. But constant monitoring and gentle prodding would bring good result ultimately.
Rome was not built in a day. So also our characters.
What we are today is the culmination of what we were taught directly or indirectly since birth by family and friends.
Behavioural changes are not difficult to imbibe and or implement. Needs patience and monitoring.
All said and done, we are under the influence of peer pressure. We keep observing what others do. By and large, we ape others. Good things or bad things. Noticing others stopped washing/spitting in their surroundings, almost all will begin to repeat the same.
Changing habits has a structural plan or route. The knowledge that washing one’s hands or spitting around you is not healthy leads to practice of getting up and walking upto the wash basin or open space in the yard. When this practice is repeated every time one sits for lunch or dinner, it forms a habit. It’s that simple. Bit of physical exercise is also thrown in. Don’t we know drivers do no exercise? Either they sit behind steering wheels in cabins or lay down on cots/chaipoys at highway dhabas.
Changing habits definitely changes life. One becomes Smarter. Who does not want to be? Drivers are no exception. They will fall in line definitely. Let’s try. Ready?