Americans aren’t raised with proper table manners anymore. American society has trained their people to believe that children shouldn’t be given knives to cut their food, and as a result, American people no longer eat holding the knife in the right-hand, and fork always in the left-hand. Majority of American people will put the knife down, switch hands, and scoop food with the fork in their right-hand.
– Not that table manners are still relevant in this day-and-age. But the concept, that over the course of time we have slowly reshaped society to be easier/safer/better, deserves some reflection.
We didn’t value table manners, so society stopped having them. We feared that children were too feeble to handle cutlery, so we stopped allowing them to use it. Now no child in America is given the opportunity to practice using a fork and knife.
The same thing happened with carpentry, blacksmithing, and anything else remotely conceived as hazardous. Society believed that it was too dangerous for a child to learn, and now it’s a dying art because no young people started practicing it.
Culinary skills are also dying art. We have adults who can’t really cook, because we’ve invented easy meals that don’t require the skills necessary to prepare food from scratch.
– We have adults who can’t really do anything.
A whole generation with No practical real life skills. Bad at cooking, and cleaning, can’t tune up a car, or fix a door. A generation who is taught nothing about infant care, and even less about basic home maintenance.
– I know it was unintended. But somewhere along the way, all these things were deemed unimportant by society, to the point that we stopped expecting young people to know how to do them.
I’ve known adult men who couldn’t figure out how to clean a sink drain when it became clogged, and didn’t own a tool box. Men who have never used a power tool, don’t have any industrial adhesive, and would rather live with the inconvenience rather than fix something.
In fact, I know several men like this. These are the men of tomorrow.
The movie Idiocracy comes to mind as a very real prediction of the future.
With practical life skills on the way out, I wondered what compelled us to continue bombarding children with useless knowledge. Have we not realized the urgency? Has our incompetence not become Enough of a problem yet? The pointless memorization that goes into cramming for standardized testing in school does not help a generation develop, It only hinders us. It does not teach us how to be more capable, but less.
Not everyone needs to become intellectuals or go to college, but Everyone needs to know how to cook, do basic financial planning, and raise children.