Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Social pressure

It’s evil. It messes with your mind. It does with mine. And it makes me do things that I certainly don’t want to do. And I thought I was all so smart and independent!

You see, I wash my hands when they are dirty. When I say ‘dirty’ I mean I fell off my bike and landed on my hands in a puddle of muddy rainwater. My hands are dirty after I ate a large portion of French fries with mayonnaise and onions using my hands only. They can be dirty after I worked in the garden or cleaned up my cat’s vomit. You know – dirty.

It so happens that I live in a sterile country. Nothing is ever dirty here. So I don’t wash my fruits and vegetables. And I don’t wash my hands after each visit to the toilet. Washing hands when they are not dirty just doesn’t make sense to me. Please don’t try to convince me it does. Because that doesn’t make sense either. Besides, in the winter my hands become dry and painful if I wash them too often.

So far my opinion on hands washing. So far my independent behaviour following that opinion. Because as soon as I find myself in a public toilet and there are people who can actually see me not washing my hands... Guess what I do? Dirty or not, I wash my hands. Because everybody washes their hands. And I am afraid that they will condemn me for being filthy and unhealthy.

And now I wonder: how different would my life be if there was no social pressure at all? And how many people wash their hands because they think I will condemn them? 

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