5 ‘normal’ things that are actually outdated by M. Pitter


1. Shoelaces: Shoelaces have been apart of human wear for thousands of years. The exact date for when shoelaces came about is undefined. But one of the earliest dated shoes with shoelaces has been labeled the Areni-1 Shoe. The recorded data around its excavation in the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia states that this laced shoe is over 5000 years old. You’d think that by now, 2013, we humans would have developed different methods like a series of hooks, magnetic seals or maybe even some sort of an electronic fastener mechanism. Think about it: You’ll find many possibilities.

2. Chivalry: Chivalry is the authority by which “gentlemen” and “ladies” interact in specific ways prescribed by historical situations, ideals and attitudes. A man is to give a woman special treatment whether it be holding the door for her, letting her go first to join a queue, boarding a train, giving up a seat on the train or entering a corridor, providing compliments and, generally, making life easier for the lady. Simultaneously, chivalry justifies an inequality between the sexes resembling a sort of benevolent sexism. This socio-cultural attribute rests on the belief that women need a specialized environment; they are supposedly unfit to withstand the natural elements subject to men or natural people. Chivalry comes from a time when women could be snatched up and made to ‘multiply’ (as they say in the Bible) for her male assailant(s). Social conditions and interactions developed extensively over time to yield today: an environment where women are not as vulnerable as they once were. But still: If I don’t hold the door for a woman, then I’m considered an asshole (in some cases). I am to act on the belief that the chore of opening a door is far too arduous for a ‘lady’. And then in another situation: If I and a lady are standing side by side before the exit of a room, and I walk out first, thwarting the lady’s chances of exiting first (as chivalry demands), then I become a person who lacks ‘proper manners’. Here, I am to act on the belief that if I leave a space before a ‘lady’, then I have put her in danger of perhaps never reaching her destination expediently enough. This behavior between the sexes continues while the necessity has shrunk massively over the course of centuries and centuries. So, may chivalry die to introduce equality between the sexes.

3. Mirrors: The concept of a mirror is very simple. Its use by humans go back over 8000 years. They were inspired by naturally occurring phenomena such as water, or volcanic obsidian rock and more. Today we rely heavily on mirrors when we drive automobiles. And then of course, we have other needs from mirrors, however, these needs are located in moments of our lives that are less life threatening than driving. Like making sure your teeth are white or your eyes aren’t red…

It may be a surprise to some that our continued use of mirrors wasn’t replaced by another effective method of capturing a view of the contents behind us in constant real-time. The mirror has worked so well for so long that using another type of object is unnecessary and perhaps undesirable. We take these ancient tools for granted every second of our days while we believe that we’re disconnected from our past. In the end, our senses and our modern brains are composed of the same materials and quantities as the ones of our ancestors thousands of years ago. So much of what worked for them, works for us as well. Mirrors are normal and useful; they also originate in ‘pre-history’. Still, we boast about our ultra-advanced technological world.

4. The Second Amendment (“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”): In recent days, this document has been the center of much controversy. The murders in the Sandy Hook, Connecticut elementary school tipped gun law reform into the realm of priority. Every now and then, a school (/movie theater) shooting will itch at the American People and cause them question or re-evaluate their stance on having such powerful guns in the hands of civilians. During the interim of the widely broadcasted domestic shootings, there are a pitifully high number of murders whether homicides or suicides by people who are not militia men: the people for whom the 2nd Amendment was written. This document was written in the heat of a situation around 237 years ago. It would be silly to believe that the situation back then exists now. Therefore, the Second Amendment may be an outdated document unable to stand for who the American People are today.

5. Faith: Whether a person is Christian, Muslim, Atheist or Jewish, he or she makes a claim of their religious identity. He or she expresses zeal in defending his or her beliefs. This behavior of joining a group is old fashioned. It’s not necessarily right or wrong. It’s old fashioned. Having faith in The Undefinable and in the knowledge of one’s correctness in this belief has been a human attribute for an undefinable myriad of years. An entity of our universe so great, so powerful, so absolute, so ubiquitous couldn’t possibly be discussed in words, configured in the constructs of the human mind or explained in the context of human experience. Attitudes and ideologies based on this human faith faculty have historically proven destructive but still it exists as a common human attribute to believe in something without really knowing it and defending that belief to the death.

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