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Human habits

/ 26 August 2013

Human nature doesn’t change. Habits make it appear different. A person with good habits would be called a good-natured person and one with bad habits be termed a bad-natured person. So, habits matter. To tell a lie is human nature; but the manner in which it is told is important. In one case, the teller is abrupt and embarrassing. In the second case, the teller is premeditated and unsurprising; although both are telling a lie.

The point has to do with making our nature appear different; it makes it easier for developing good relationships. In everyday life, the affairs are either managed by being communicative or mismanaged by being impulsive; therefore mannerism matters. One has to be deliberate in telling a lie whereas truth finds its place regardless.

Hiding information is a part of human nature. In the olden days, mothers advised their children not to hide information on purpose because it tempted people to search for concealed information. On the contrary information, which was left open usually did not attract people’s attention. For example, in the olden days, bank lockers or steel safes were not available for the safe custody of personal valuables. 

Mothers often hid their valuables in inconspicuous places in the house. Once, a mother had to hide gold ornaments belonging to a relative who was proceeding out of town for work. The husband said to her that wooden box secured with padlock would be a safe place; but she decided to hide it in the haystack in the barn. Some days later thieves entered their house looking for gold ornaments. They broke open all the boxes but could not find the ornaments. The mother took a sigh of relief.

Exaggerating and misinterpreting other’s opinion is also human nature. How it is done is important. A wise person would use soft and good words and avoid overstatement to prevent embarrassment. The unwise would behave aggressive and make an issue out of an insignificant matter. 

While human nature should always be kept in view when dealing with human beings, habits must always be focused on. Habits are deceptive; once a habit is formed, it is hard to give up. The quotation of the famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky is of great significance. He said, “it seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing, but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.” 

Masood Anwar, by email

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