There are many significant transitions in the world, some good and some bad. Yet the most awkward transition I find is that of the modern generation striving to be independent and trying hard to eliminate interdependence. One of the causalities of this transition has been the Art of Greeting Each Other.
Just walk down to any play-area where kids of all ages are playing. They may be from well educated families and going to the best of the schools. Yet, a very small percentage of these kids will bother to acknowledge folks / elders around them. They will start conversing with you; but they will make no attempt to say"Hello"or "Good Evening"or our brand in the world "Namaskar". In our times, this was considered the most uncivilized behavior a kid can show (i.e. disrespect towards the divinity in all of us). Those of us born before 90s still have an automatic response to meeting elders - our hands will fold or we will bent immediately to touch their feet. In most cases, that resulted in a joyful blessing in return. And I wonder why the kids these days are not inspired to Greet Each Other and get blessings of elders?
Is it a hip thing? Is there a renewed logic behind the change that I am unaware as my hair turn gray ? Why parents are not feeling bad about it and inspiring their kids by sharing the value of getting blessings / positive vibes of others? I am sure the same kids (large majority these days) are not even greeting their parents in the morning. What will be their respect index for the same parents when the parents age ?
I started saying "Namaskaar"to at least to kids around me; and some of them are now responding with a shy "Hello"or "Good Morning". Why am I making it a big deal out of Namaste ? Because the essence of spirituality is to believe that we all are equal and we should love all as all of us have the same spark of divinity. The very first point of invoking that feeling of equality is Greeting Each Other with love and respect.
A kid says "Namaste" - I bow to / respect the divinity in you....and a grown up or elder has to respond with "Namaste - "I too bow to / respect the divinity in you". The humility of greeting is the power that makes other willingly treat us as equal. This is the foundation of universal love and world peace. Hope you can inspire a few around you (or get inspired yourself) to say a heartfelt "Namaste or Namaskar" when you meet the next human being :)
Namaste - I wish you a Joyful Day !