Day ten of the ‘Blogging from A-Z Challenge’. Saturday’s blog is always the hardest. I would normally only write my blog on work days and have the weekend off. Writing six blogs in a week takes that extra bit of effort, a twenty per cent productivity gain. April is also the month in which Easter falls which means, for the United Kingdom at least, two bank holidays again when I would not normally write. So of the twenty six pieces I am trying to write, six of them fall on non-writing days. It is not called a challenge for nothing.
Today I am questioning my assumptions and judgements. Humans can be very judgemental. We are always quick to criticise the choices and activities of those around us. It is a sport that we have all entertained though some are better players than others. The problem is that we judge without knowledge. We make snap judgements based upon our own prejudices without thinking about the reasons behind what others do. We also use being judgemental to divide ourselves into camps.
It is one of the worst traits of human nature. If I can identify a difference between one group and another I can reinforce the relationships within my own clan by pointing out how different we are to the rest. Once ingrained, any activities that reinforce these prejudices will be noted and any that do not fit in will be ignored. Small differences in appearance or opinion can become enhanced to the extreme. Differences in the clothes you wear, the colour of your skin, the place you live or the weight you carry can all become divisive weapons in our judgemental games.
There are people all to ready and willing to build on these differences to suit their own purposes and it is something that society should be on its guard against. History is full of such lessons.
So what has this to do with my left-handed experiment? It has shown me that there are many things in this world that are new to me, that may seem obvious at first glance but that are deeply challenging on closer inspection. There are things that I do with ease on a daily basis that many people struggle with. It has shown me that I need to be more tolerant and less judgemental.
Perhaps that person in the queue in front of me is struggling to get the change out of their purse because their usual hand isn’t working or their fingers are riddled with arthritis. Perhaps the hesitant driver at the head of the tailback has received some bad news, the loss of a loved one, the threat of redundancy or a life-threatening illness. Perhaps they are not used to the car they are driving. Who knows, they may even be trying a little experiment to use their other hand.
People do what they do for a reason either consciously or not. Only by questioning our own actions can we hope to understand those of others. At least that’s my thinking.