When at Rome Do as Romans Do Essay

Outline:

  • The necessity of traveling abroad
  • Man’s capacity to adopt himself to changing circumstances
  • A civilized man’s attitude
  • The rigidity of one’s mind

We cannot expect to live in our homes, surrounded by familiar faces, all through our days. By compulsion of necessity and circumstances, we have to travel abroad, associate with strangers and accommodate us to customs and conventions, which may not agree with our taste. The more resilient a man’s temperament, the greater will be his capacity to adapt himself to alter situations. The soundness of education and intelligence is proved by a man’s quick grasp of the demands of a particular time and place.

The ability to adjust oneself to the speedy development of life is an essential requirement for one’s simple survival against the adverse factors. The gigantic mammoths of the prehistoric ages died out of existence while their puny, feeble, fellow creature man weathered successfully the vagaries of nature because man by his superior mind learnt soon to swim with the current.

The spirit of friendliness towards all ensures a life of peace and harmony. A sensible man realizes this and can make himself at home even in an alien atmosphere. A truly educated man does not labor under mean prejudices. Hence he will not find any difficulty in appreciating the manners and ways of life in other countries. He is tolerant of other habits even if he cannot emulate them. A polite man is too sensitive to wound the feelings of anyone.

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Some people most unfortunately never learn the value of this precept, of becoming Roman in Rome. The rigidity of their nature induces them to assume a wary attitude towards whatever seems foreign to them. They are afraid of yielding an inch without stubborn resistance. These people waste their energy in futile conflicts with their fellow beings and spoil everybody’s happiness including their own. Some of them even go to the extent of acting as self-appointed crusaders for upholding the superiority of their own belief and customs. They do not realize that sympathy is not a sign of weakness, and that no one can earn respect by being offensive.

At times sheer common sense will prompt us to change our mode of life when we are living under different circumstances. A great coat is a superficial luxury in this country, but in England, one runs the risk of catching pneumonia if one goes out without an overcoat. In America, easy friendship and sociability is expected from all. Now, the man who disapproves this volubility will find himself miserably lonely, as a veritable outcast.

A wise man will never deprive him of the chance to enjoy the infinite variety of life for the sake of some futile taboos.

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