OUTLOOK — By Ali Al Matani — The Omani society is an Arab society that maintains many authentic values and principles demonstrating its originality and civilisation. One of these values is the respect and appreciation for persons and the principles followed in many aspects of life. However, this respect has began to decline somehow, and it has turned into a respect for the interests, ie the person respects another person if he unfortunately has a vested interest in him.
This type of respect has started to prevail in our society gradually in the midst of several civil developments and changes. Besides, the rule of materialism in human relations and the narrow perception of people who shelter such values and cultural principles are becoming more established with every passing day.
Nowadays, we find few people who respect and appreciate a person as a noble human being if they do not have any vested interest in him. Most people tend to give respect to only persons in high positions to whom they aspire to be close to. In the present times it is difficult to find a person who calls upon another person to wish him well or to enquire about his health, unless he has a vested interest in him or if he wishes to ask for a service or help. There are many wrong practices in this regard that has now become a reality and which is practised in the Omani society in many respects. This applies even for the people who are close relatives, friends and colleagues.
These kinds of behaviours reflect the extent of the individuals’ growing selfishness and the narrow view of some people towards the concept of respect and appreciation. As stated earlier the culture of respect and appreciation is currently connected with interests: ie respect exists when there are gains and vice versa. This surely, should be a source of concern for the general public, lest these good values and noble principles may fade and dwindle in the human relationships forever.
Of course, there are many concerns today that hinder people from performing their social duties and prevent the establishment of these ideals. Yet, this does not entail that we should forget basic values that are required to be observed by us all. We should maintain these values in respect to human beings and to maintain the authenticity of the Omani society and its ancient traditions.