One Thing I Learned From The “Evil” Western Culture

When I hear people say, “The western culture is poisoning our minds!” or something else along the same line, I want to ask them, “Have you ever been to a western country before?” My experience in Canada (a western country) seems different than the rhetoric I usually hear back home.

Perhaps what people say has some truth in it, but it is not the whole truth.

Undeniably, every culture has a good side and a bad side. My culture has it, and western culture has it too. But to generalize an entire culture and label it as “evil” just because you see a few negatives in it, is unjust.

We don’t want people to call our culture “evil”. But then, we are comfortable calling other culture “evil”? Perhaps The Golden Rule needs more repetition: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

I have learned a lot of beautiful practices from my time in a western country. Many of these beautiful practices I find to be Islamic, even though the people who practice them may not be Muslims. One of the practices I learned is a simple restaurant etiquette: clean up after yourself.

The first time I ate in a restaurant there, I learned this simple but often times forgotten etiquette. I observed that after eating, people are taking their plates to empty them in the trash. Then, they stack the plates nicely on a designated counter.

I didn’t have a smartphone back then. I would’ve taken a picture of the scene to show it to the people back home. It’s the simplest of good deeds that often get overlooked.

For many of us, we eat in a restaurant, finish eating, and just leave. Even in places where they have a trash bin readily available and a place to put their plates/trays (e.g. KFC, airport food court, etc.), we would still do this.

During my naive years, I always thought that was the way to go. But there is a better way, and it seems common sense. Why don’t we clean up after ourselves?

The usual response I hear is, “Well, there are people employed to do the cleaning. So why should I do it? If I do it, then they won’t do their job and they get their paycheck for free!” That is what I hear, but between the lines I simply hear, “I am just lazy.”

Trust me, even if you clean up after yourself, the workers have plenty of other cleaning jobs that they have to do in the restaurant. Cleaning up tables is probably the easiest of them all, and it won’t hurt if we lighten up their burden.

Remember, we are only there for a few minutes but they have to be there for hours. Plus, they have served us food. The least we can do is clean up our table and it doesn’t take much energy and time to do it.

Why should we do it? Because that’s good mannerisms, and good mannerisms don’t need a reason.


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