A lesson in humility from a 6 year old.

This is a Guest Post by Venkat. He is the founder of <stealth>.
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Kids in my family (and most South Indian families) are taught basic etiquettes from a very early age. One such etiquette is to leave their footwear outside when entering their or anyone else’s home. I have a bunch of nieces and nephews. Kids being kids, many times they rush outdoors forgetting to wear their footwear. Any elder who notices this yells at them to come back and wear their footwear - as a matter of personal hygiene as much as an etiquette.

Every summer, as an annual routine, all kids gather at our house in Hyderabad, India. One evening my youngest nephew (who is 6 years old) demands ice cream. I drive him to an ice cream parlor. As we are choosing flavors i look down and notice he’s barefoot. I immediately start to chide him. He starts to say something which i assume is an ‘i forgot’ excuse. I raise my voice a bit and drown his explanations. He becomes silent. We proceed to choose a few flavors, pay, and get them packed. Ready to leave, I hold the parlor door open for him to walk out. As we walk out he stops briefly outside the parlor door to slip on his sandals which he had parked outside while entering.

It hits me fast and hard. Really hard.

My nephew was being well-mannered like we taught him. He just didn’t distinguish between a home and a shop. I was being the quick-to-judge-jerk. I apologize to him. I don’t know if he’s understood my apology and forgiven me. He’s busy deciding which ice cream flavor he’ll eat first.

There's a reason we have two ears but only one mouth.

I learn my lesson.