Whatever We Do Lesson Summary and Explanation in English Class 9th


“Whatever we do” written by Clifford Martis , revolves around the idea to be aware of the need and significance of doing and speaking things better. It may be noted that there is no limit to the improvement we can make in our actions or speech.There is no method or formula to make a particular action and speech to be the best.

According to the author whatever we do we should try to do it better and put efforts in order to perform efficiently. In this lesson, Clifford Martis has pointed out how to to respond in shop, restaurants,or if someone made us to wait,how should doctors improve their responses to the patients,how we should respond to the auto rickshaw drivers,how to give alms to beggar,how to improve public instruction etc.

The main theme of the prose is to emphasize on the improvement of our communication and also to highlight the difference between progress and success.

Expression of Gratitude

When it comes to be thankful, we should say “thanks a lot or You have been of great help” in order to sound it better. By giving some thought to our actions or speech we can say things in a better way even though it sounds totally sarcastic like if someone is apologizing us for being late so we can lighten the situation by remarking a sarcasm eg. “ it’s a pleasure waiting for you” which could also flatter the listener at the same time.

We should compare ourselves with our own selves like comparing our today’s performance with the performance of our last year to identify whether we are doing better or not. If someone made us to wait because of their ongoing tasks, we should not just stand and wait for them to have finished their works but instead we can also lend them our helping hand and politely ask whether they require our help or not.

Behavioural issues

Clifford then targets the behaviour of shopkeepers of directly handing over our demanded commodities to us without saying a single word. The shopkeeper or waiters should at least say “Yes sir” to make the customer comfortable. Clifford then targets the behaviour of doctors of speaking in a strict or serious manner and suggest them to speak politely and nicely because pacifying and consoling also comes under the process of a treatment.

On one occasion, the author asked an auto man to take him to City Hospital. The automan simply looked at him and downed the meter,which indicated that he was willing to take him to his destination. The automan atleast would have said to author, “Yes Sir, please sit down”. On another occasion the author called an auto and said “Central market” to which the driver apologized as he was supposed to hand over the auto. This shows that one can deny by saying “No” in a pleasant manner.

While giving alms to a beggar it is better to use some nice words with some feeling, we should say “here take this.” , which will make a beggar feel happy. Some say nothing. If he persists, they shun him by their body language. If we want to give alms, our action should be done gracefully. If a beggar asks alms, at least it is better to say “Sorry, I am not able to give.”

Rough instructions

The author then talks about the notices, instructions and orders like “No parking,No smoking,No admission” and call them rude. He then appreciates the innovation of writing”Thankyou for not smoking” in the case of smoking. People should think of innovative methods to make these orders, instructions and notices sound more polite ,more polished. Earlier people used to say “Thank You” but nowadays people have started using the phrase“Its all right,You are welcome or simply Welcome”.

In some hotels, if they have a rush they hang a board on the wall that says, “Don’t sit here for long time.” This is really an odd thing to say so. But it is better to say “Please make room for waiting customers.” Or “Kindly make room for waiting friends.”

He then talks about our practice to be brief while sending telegrams. According to the author the issue of courtesy has not been solved. On mobile or telephone people ask who’s this?” instead of asking “May I know who is calling please?”

One last way which the author states of improving our communication with others is to put “You” before “I” as far as possible. If we want to thank someone for a nice party then one can say “Your party was enjoyable. I thank You or Your letter made me very happy”.

He ends by stating that there is no limit to the improvement we can make in our action or speech. What is best may depend on the occasion and it may be possible to continuously make improvement.