WHAT ARE WE ‘TRAINING’?
No society is perfect. Inequity and disparity will always peek through the cracks, and these cracks cannot always be smoothed over with one-size-fits-all mandates.
But placing our own comfort as our sole priority is no solution either. On the contrary, it can often wind up being a disservice, both to ourselves and those around us, especially when it comes to public spaces and resources.
“My mum’s philosophy is to ‘leave it better than you found it’,” explains Ms Ke to TODAY. “It’s just really basic human things that both our parents have instilled in us.”
To be sure, the question “Why are we being told?” is always a helpful one to ask — as long as that’s not where our train of thought grinds to a halt.
Scepticism, in healthy doses, undoubtedly has its uses. But deploy it on impulse too much and, over time, cognitive muscle memory can start kicking in too hard and too often.
In effect, we are indeed “training”: We train ourselves to stymie our own critical thinking. We practise sanding down our sense of compassion and empathy just so we can feel, for five minutes, that we’re “sticking it to The Man” or defying the powers that be.
Before we know it, we may start to find ourselves lashing out instinctually against any and all fresh guidelines and regulations — including the ones that serve to benefit us most.
But is this the best way to live among other humans?