Human nature is a funny thing. As is the way my own mind works sometimes.
There I was just washing the dishes like I would any other day when I recalled something pretty humorous. That's how my mind is though, it tends to wander and associate what I'm doing with memories or something else of interest to me. Anyway, I was remembering a moment at my friend Nick's house several years ago (he now rents a room from my mom and lives with us). I don't remember exactly what were doing at that moment but I remember being in his kitchen and his younger sister was there. Their dad had told her to do the dishes and like almost any 13 or 14 year old would, she complained about it. I know I used to. I hated doing the dishes. The only difference here is they owned a dish machine.
Now in my entire life we've never had a dish machine. We've always done them by hand, which would probably contribute to why I didn't like doing the dishes. But I did them anyway. Nowadays, the lack of a dish machine doesn't even bother me remotely, I'll just do whatever dishes I dirtied without giving it a second thought. I think that came with age and working at a restaurant. Anyway, I digress. The point I'm making here is I couldn't help but think 'Wow, are you lazy or what? You're whining because you have to throw a couple plates and utensils into a machine and hit start?'.
That's when something occurred to me.
We constantly judge people that way. We say to ourselves "Well if I were in that persons shoes, I'd be happy." Here's the thing though: we probably wouldn't. Why do we think that we'd think any differently than them? Based on personality? Perhaps that would affect it. But if you think about it for a minute how were you brought up? Me, I'm an artistic type. On a bright sunny day, rather than go outside and jog, go fishing, go on a hike, and do all that outdoors-y stuff, I'd much prefer to stay inside and draw. Not in a dark room mind you, I love the sun. I like sitting in the kitchen with the sun blaring through our big window behind me and drawing or writing away. Nothing is more relaxing than waking up in the morning, putting some music on and getting to work on some art with no one around to distract me. Especially when it's bright and sunny out. The most common outdoors type of activity I do is to pop in my headphones and go for a walk downtown to get a drink at the gas station or something.
This is an idea my step-dad could never understand. Not trying to sound like I'm attacking him here, but he is a prime example. He was raised much differently than I was. No matter what time of the year or what the weather was, he loved to be outside. Fishing, hunting, hiking, bird-watching, anything you can think of. And when it wasn't that, he loved to build things and fix things. Even in the dead of winter he wanted to be outside doing things. There's no problem
with that ever. If anything, I'm happy he can be that way. It's actually a healthier way of living (at least
physically). Now me, I'd rather exercise my imagination. The problem here was he couldn't stand my way of living and he always tried to make me do the things he wanted to do. I didn't like that very much though and why? Because that's how I was brought up. His way of thinking probably would have been along the lines of "If I were his age and it was a nice day out, I'd be outside in the woods!"
Which brings me right back to the first anecdote about the dish washing.
There I was only a few minutes ago judging Nick's little sister about her complaints. Now that doesn't mean she isn't being lazy, I stand by that. But doing the dishes in the dish machine to her, was the equivalent of me doing the dishes by hand to me. We both hated it. I told her I do all the dishes by hand I think. She was amazed and couldn't believe that that's how we did it at our house. We couldn't afford a dish machine.
The point of this whole thing is that I don't believe that things are too hard or too easy for anyone really. I think it's more based on how we were raised and what we're used to. To the people in third world countries who have to farm and hunt for their food, who have to make their own clothes and furniture that's every day living. They know it's not easy but it doesn't bother them. It's their way of life. Just like to us having to budget out our paychecks and truck our lazy butts down to the grocery store to throw food in a cart and trade it for green pieces of paper is our way of life.
The only thing that upsets me is that we judge people based on that sometimes. Just a little too much. I'm not fond of the attitudes of the rich, but I refuse to say the words "If I were in their shoes...". The truth is, we don't know how we'd be if we were in their shoes.
We aren't them, and they aren't us.
That's partly why I find shows like Wife Swap amusing. It's funny to see how people react under the pressures of an extreme and sudden change in their way of life.
It's amazing what goes through my head whilst washing dishes or doing other chores.