When I began reading Shilpa's post "Wash Your Hands" I found myself remembering snippets from my life. Some values and habits that we hold dear are a reflection of what we believe is important to our existence. It is something that connects to me as I am now, a part of my personality and beliefs, and is ultimately a vital factor that will make me the 'real' you. I am not a cleanliness freak but I strike the right balance.
How many times have you refused something because you are worried it would not be clean? Well, you can refuse if you believe that. But that doesn't solve the issue, does it?
People say, "I want my house to be clean" and dump the dirt on somebody else's doorstep. That isn't cleanliness. We need to rethink our cleanliness mantra, make it long term.
I use a hand sanitizer and scrub my son's hands every time we travel by train or plane. My worst fear about traveling by train is that I lose peace of mind imagining the germs one would pick up by using the loo. It is so filthy and I can't understand why people don't even make an effort to keep it clean. I love traveling by train than plane but the filth scares me. Food scraps, sweet wrappers and snack packets are thrown around the berth itself. I always insist that my three year old son put garbage or rubbish in the bin. Now he does it without being told.
I keep asking my friends to share their 'cleanliness quirks' and here they are:
A bachelor friend I know is so obsessed about cleanliness that he would wash and scrub onions like crazy before chopping them. Not bad at all.
A colleague I knew once confessed that even in the coldest winter mornings, she could not imagine skipping her head bath because it was so engraved in her routine of cleanliness. That too, she used cold water baths, not even warm or lukewarm water.
Another friend confessed that whenever she had friends staying over at her place, she would change the bed linen in the bedroom because she couldn't bear to pick up germs by being in contact with those sheets in any way.
Yet another friend confessed that even when she stayed in five star hotels, she would use her own clean bed sheets to sleep in because she didn't completely trust what hotels provided.
An 'unholy' instance: In a small mandir, it shocked me to see that the priest wore dirty sandals inside the mandir where devotees sit and pray. My shock turned to disgust when I saw that the priest, who doesn't look like he has regular baths, is smoking inside the temple when no one is around and worst of all, plucking stuff out of paan stained teeth! URGH!
When I ask regular devotees why they don't point this out, they look at me like I'm an alien and tell me, "He's a priest, what can we say?" That leaves me dumb founded. Really.
Read what Angela, an international teacher blogged and you may be wary of baby sitters forever. Click here to read this post.
What's your cleanliness mantra? Do share it here with suggestions.