I have just returned from spending 10 days in San Francisco with my twin sister Josie. For most of the time we just hung out in her back yard by the pool, which felt like a resort, and the weather was incredible.
Trying to be a good guest, I washed the dishes a bit while I was over there. One time, shortly afterwards, I heard someone asking Josie incredulously ‘why doesn’t she rinse the dishes after she’s washed them?’, to which Josie replied ‘oh, it’s a kiwi thing, nobody does in New Zealand’
This intrigued (and admittedly slightly triggered me after I heard mutterings of ‘stupid’ and ‘unhygienic’) so I decided to Google it, and a plethora of results came flooding back. Check out this highly emotional thread from the Guardian (it seems that it’s actually a UK habit which is also practiced in Australia?). Why on earth do people seem so attached to this?
I have said before that a theme for me this this year is fighting against dogma, and specifically shoulds, musts and rules that no longer serve
While I was in US, I crossed something off my bucket list, which was facilitating a workshop at the wonderful Esalen retreat. Josie and I attended the powerful Wisdom 2.0 unconference there, and I offered to facilitate a session on how ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’ and ‘rules’ can really hinder us living our lives as the best version of ourselves. Sure, many rules serve us, and are necessary but how many are ingrained deep into our subconscious and are quite frankly a pain in the arse (eg don’t make a fuss, play it safe under the radar). It was a great session, and the amount of people who turned up to participate was testimony to the frustration levels caused by them.
Going back to ‘Dish-gate’, this appears to be a cultural norm, the shared expectation and rules that guide a group of people, in this case by country. I was speaking with an ex-pat in the Philippines this week, who said it was quite normal for people in that country to retire before they are 50. In China it’s ok to belch at the dinner table (sign of gratitude). In Vietnam, crossing your fingers is translated as assimilating a certain part of the female body, so it’s certainly not considered good luck!
Wouldn’t life be easier if we could all see things from other points of view, and be a little less attached to our way of viewing the world?
This can be referred to as Dialectical thinking, something Geoff and I are exploring as we find common ground on how we maintain boundaries for our sons. The guts of it is to resolve differences between two views, rather than establish one of them as true.
When I work with clients to show up as the legends that they are, I focus a lot on personal ROI, where they best can spend their time, energy and resources to get the best result for them specifically. I think a great place to start is understanding where we are needlessly spending our energy fighting for a point of view to which we are very attached!