week 4

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Ik ben erg tolerant en flexibel. Vind ikzelf, hoewel mijn vrouw daar anders over denkt. Leven & laten leven, is mijn motto. Maar alleen als jou dat zo uitkomt, schampert mijn vrouw. ‘Wat gij niet wilt dat u geschiedt, doe dat ook aan een ander niet’ was de lijfspreuk van mijn moeder die ik ook voor mezelf graag hanteer. Hoewel, als ik eerlijk ben – en waarom zou ik dat hier niet zijn? – ik daar niet altijd naar leef. Hetgeen mijn vrouw nu eens volmondig met me eens is.

Maar in ernst: Ik erger me soms wezenloos aan het mij door onbekenden ‘zo maar’ aanspreken met ‘jij’,en ‘jou’. Ik verbeeld me niks, helemaal niks; heb daar ook geen enkele reden toe (wie wel, overigens?) maar ik vind het ‘gewoon’ een kwestie van beleefdheid dat voor elkaar vreemden elkaar voorshands (heel ouwe term, dat weet deze ouwe lul heel goed) met ‘u’ aanspreken. Dat is voor mij, nogmaals, een kwestie van beleefdheid. En van respect voor elkaar. Er wordt, vind ik, in Nederland al zoveel genivelleerd. Natuurlijk zijn er ook genoeg mensen vanaf veertig en ouder die zeggen, het helemaal niet erg te vinden om als snotneus te worden aangesproken want zo hoog in hun bol hebben ze het niet. Maar dat ís het niet. Uit welke inkomensgroep iemand komt, wélke achtergrond hij/zij ook heeft, het is ‘gewoon’- en ik zet dit woordje opnieuw tussen aanhalingstekens – zo, dat het tegen onbekende en oudere mensen ‘u’ zeggen de simpelste vorm van respect is. Tegenover iedereen dus, ongeacht diens status,verantwoordelijkheden en inkomen.

De commercie is een tiental jaren geleden met dat gejij en gejou begonnen, alsof we kleine kinderen zijn. Reclametekstenschrijvers, mooi scrabblewoord, waren de grootste boosdoeners. Winkelbedrijven zijn gevolgd. Waar hoor je nog ‘Wat kan ik voor u doen?’ Het is, ik overdrijf nu een beetje, meer van ‘Wat mot je?’ Maar ook de overheid gaat steeds vaker op de jij-en-jou-tour. Lekker popie-jopie doen. Maar een overheid die wil dat burgers haar serieus nemen zou er goed aan doen diezelfde burgers volgens de (toch?) nog steeds heersende fatsoensnormen te bejegenen. Dan is de kans groter, dat de burger die zich in veel gevallen – terecht of ten onrechte – een ‘gedwongen klant’ voelt, alle adviezen, instructies en ook steeds hoger wordende belastingen als rechtvaardig en noodzakelijk accepteert. Denk ik.

Henk Hendriks

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