“I’m getting late for office. Maybe next time!” You wave a hand to dismiss the fuel station boy who is expectantly looking at you for a small tip. “She is so slow!” You sneakily motion towards your maid while your friends snicker, and your maid looks away in embarrassment.

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If you have directly contributed to scenarios like the ones mentioned above, or been an unfortunate witness to these acts of unkindness, then this is for you.

If our bonus is declined or we are ill-treated in our workplaces, then the consequences are swift – jobs are quit, human resources teams are called upon, and court battles fought to restore our outraged morality.

But when it’s our turn to be polite or generous towards the ones who are many rungs below us, we are rife with double standards.

We suddenly realize that our most treasured values are actually the ones which dictate the principle of sparing the rod, spoiling the child and keeping people in their places to maintain the natural balance of the universe.

And so we go ahead and take pride in squeezing discounts from the poor vegetable vendor.

We are super stingy while giving tips to the small errands’ boy or the house helps.

We don’t think twice before screaming at the car wash boy or the watchman, because these with their callused palms and their heads bowed don’t even have the option to complain. They just have to make do with their meager options and their meager life.

Hasn’t self-esteem long been a privilege meant to be cherished by only the affluent? Isn’t it high time that changed?

Many of us have started making conscious efforts at bringing up the living standards of those that serve us, but many others are still guilty of practicing cruel attitudes and practices while dealing with this class.

Think about this – while your favorite TV characters would never thank you for your loyal patronage of them, an hour away from that TV to tutor your maid’s child would lead to a lifetime of blessings from that family.

So if you truly analyze, it is the very small acts which have the big power to change the world.

And if you have the means to spare some extra change or time, then be assured that one of the best therapies to take away your stress would be to set the wheels of generosity into motion and help shape a happier world!

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