As a comic term to describe a pompous or conceited individual, “Mamamouchi” is apt. But do we all only refer to such people as Mamamouchis or do other undeserving people too fall into this category? Sometimes, due to biased judgments or prejudices, we are guilty of classifying people and turning away from knowing and helping people.
The moment we stamp someone as not worthy of doing anything useful, we judge them and refuse to give them a chance to prove themselves. In the process, we deprive ourselves of learning anything from them.
Unfortunately, parents are often the biggest culprits of considering their children “not good enough.” Recently, a parent of one of the most responsible and conscientious children I’ve come across admitted cheerfully that they take away their 16-year-old son’s mobile phone away from him during his exams, for the simple reason that he gets “distracted.”. This deprivation is a silent admission to the child that they do not respect or appreciate him. Have they stopped to think even once that taking away their child’s mobile phone is a message to the child that he is seen as irresponsible or incapable of the required action?
If we observe marital relationships, we sometimes come across marriages, where spouses relish terming their spouse as being incapable or worthless before the public. It is not the qualification or skill that a spouse (or anybody for that matter) has, that makes them eligible to receive respect but the simple fact that people deserve to receive the dignity they are entitled to as a self-respecting member of society.
I still recall the horror I felt as a 15-year-old when my family and I visited a couple’s home for dinner. During the course of the evening, as I sat chatting with other teenagers in a room, the husband barged into the room and asked the occupants of the room with a contemptuous, “Where is my stupid wife?”
Having had the privilege to grow up in a household where I’ve seen only respect shown between spouses (my parents), I was deeply disturbed by the husband’s apparent callousness in his regard for his wife- a gracious and thoughtful lady.
Every person we come across teaches us to learn from them how to accomplish something or how not to become like who they are. In our quest to maximize the time we get in a day, we often like to safeguard our time from making additional efforts to know a person. Out of convenience, we ask ourselves, “Where is the time?”
Recently, I came across a household staff member who worked at a friend’s place being referred to as eternally “lazy” and “not useful.” Observing this person closely, I realized with amusement, that it was the bright idea of this shrewd young man to pretend that he is not sharp, to avoid further responsibilities in that house. The reason, I soon figured lay in his employer’s contemptuous treatment of him and his colleagues and the significant lack of appreciation or recognition for their work.
It is far easy to categorize people into designated areas based on your limited knowledge about who they are. It takes greater effort to give them a chance and enable them to find out what they are good at.
Being pretentious and possessing an air of ostentatious smugness may be a reason to label a person as a “Mamamouchi” but none deserve to be called one based on their inabilities or incompetencies.
From the perspective of human rights, if we were to treat others the way we would like to be treated, there will be no remote possibility that we would wish to refer to anyone, “a Mamamouchi”.