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Global Q&A: ‘How do you react to everyday injustices?’


Epoch Times Staff
Created: December 15, 2010 Last Updated: December 31, 2010
Related articles: World » International
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Anger and lack of respect, or immense patience and tolerance, are among the ways we react to injustices. Epoch Times reporters from Chile to Pakistan heard these answers when they asked locals: “How do you react to everyday injustices?”

Jose Bolois Arnal, Zaragoza, Spain.

Jose Bolois Arnal, Zaragoza, Spain.

Zaragoza, Spain
Jose Bolois Arnal, 42, Supermarket Manager

As a supermarket manager, I very often see that almost everybody is in a hurry; there is no respect between common people or with elders. As soon as there are three or four people in a line they begin to lose patience, some begin to whistle, and if there is any confusion they tend to think badly. To jump ahead in line they use any kind of excuse. My first reaction is to try to calm the people, but sometimes I don’t say anything … because you can lose a client if you are not careful enough.

Yasser Iqbal, Lahore, Pakistan.

Yasser Iqbal, Lahore, Pakistan.

Lahore, Pakistan
Yasser Iqbal, 33, Writer

When small daily injustices happen to me I get very angry. There have been times when I’ve been waiting in line for 40 minutes to pay a utility bill and someone comes and cuts right in front of the whole line. In this case, I will insist they move to the back, and if they don’t I will physically remove them from the line. These kinds of things happen all the time here in Pakistan. I think because our society as a whole lacks awareness about how to think of others and use etiquette.

 

Jesus Graciela Cueva, Lima, Peru.

Jesus Graciela Cueva, Lima, Peru.

Lima, Perú
Jesús Graciela Cueva, 39, Pharmacy Technician

I have to be very patient since I work at a pharmacy, and I have to be kind and polite to my clients even when person may have acted unjustly. But when I’m on the street, I tend to be distrustful since I had a really bad experience once. I was assaulted, and because of that I tend to protect myself. To let people know that I am able to defend myself, but in any case I try not to hurt anyone.

 

Alberto Angulo Prieto, Osorno, Chile.

Alberto Angulo Prieto, Osorno, Chile.

Osorno, Chile
Alberto Angulo Prieto, 68, Professional Football Manager

Well, this question is not so difficult; I think I would react in a totally normal way. If it were in the shop I would demand my right to get the proper change and about the fact that somebody may jump the line, that’s not a big problem for me since nowadays people are always in a hurry, and I wouldn’t have an argument about that, I don’t mind.

 

 

Lisbeth Johansson, Lerum, Sweden.

Lisbeth Johansson, Lerum, Sweden.

Lerum, Sweden
Lisbeth Johansson, 54, Salesperson

It depends on the situation. I can get mad if somebody comes and stands in front of me in line, then I tell them off. If I am in a good mood, I do not say anything. And it is not as people usually say, that it is young people who do this; very often it is older people.

 

 

 

 

Raul Isaza Leon, Medellin, Colombia.

Raul Isaza Leon, Medellin, Colombia.

Medellín, Colombia
Raul Isaza Leon, 36, Administrator

The norm should be that one should have patience and let it be, without arguing, saying anything, and without correcting them; however uncomfortable we feel with the incident. On occasions in banks or public places, preferences occur with certain persons, and when one sees that one feels uncomfortable; this passes very frequently in our country. Like a good tolerant human being, a tolerant person, one tries to have patience and support this fact. The idea is, if we make a comment, it should be in a respectful manner in front of the person.

Nelson Marcelle, Brooklyn, New York, United States.

Nelson Marcelle, Brooklyn, New York, United States.

Brooklyn, New York, United States
Nelson Marcelle, 59, Security Officer

It depends what kind of mood I’m in. If I’m in a good mood, I’ll just politely tell them, ‘Excuse me, you gave me the wrong change.’ But, if I’m in a bad mood, I won’t be so nice about it. I’ll say, ‘Hey! Give me my money!’

 

 

 

 

Svet'o, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Svet'o, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Bratislava, Slovakia
Svet'o, 21, University Student

Regarding some common situations, like when all seats are occupied on a bus, but a lady has her beloved bag placed on a separate seat, I just ignore these. On the contrary, in some extreme cases, like when I am served a food that I didn’t order, I confront that person, amiably and sensibly. If it is not possible to come to an agreement, I use sarcasm to turn this person into a joke.

 

 

Leeanne Cook, Warrnambool, Australia.

Leeanne Cook, Warrnambool, Australia.

Warrnambool, Australia
Leeanne Cook, 48, Admin Officer

Normally small things don’t worry me and every now and again they do. People make mistakes like giving you the wrong change, but if someone pushes ahead of you in a line that’s rude, as simple as that. I probably don’t do much; because then you look like the sour-grapes person. Some people don’t care if they’re rude. What can you do?

 

 

 

Andrei Melinte, Falticeni, Romania.

Andrei Melinte, Falticeni, Romania.

Falticeni, Romania
Andrei Melinte, 19, Psychology Student

If a shopkeeper gives me the wrong change, I simply ask him for the right change. If someone pushes me or bumps into me, I ignore it. And if it happens that someone swears at me or says bad things to me, I generally thank him—as I try to make him see that there is no point in being mean or rude. Anyway, I don’t take these kinds of things personally. Life is too short to take to heart these kinds of things.

 

 

Krahulov, Czech Republic
Tomas Pisarovic, 36, Roofer

When someone jumps me in the queue I get agitated, cursing, but then I calm down and think: ‘Come-on, it’s just a thing that can happen.’ It’s a good opportunity to practice my forbearance. When short-changed, I used to ignore it, but now I try to tell her she made a mistake. If I get more money, I would probably return it, but not always. Money is tempting when you have a hold of it already. … It’s a question of character. p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }


 

Look for the Global Q&A column every week. Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “What will 2010 be remembered for?”




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