Some time ago I read Your Erroneous Zone by Dr Wayne Dyer. Despite the fact that it was written in the year 1976, I think it is an excellent book. It offers a lot of thought provoking questions to help us move ahead in life by working on our erroneous zones.
And now, let’s discuss something from the book, Chapter 7 : Breaking The Barrier of Convention.
Before that, what is an Erroneous Zone? According to Dr Dyer, an Erroneous Zone is ” a self-destructive behaviour”. And at times, we might have more than one destructive behaviour.
Among the Erroneous Zones mentioned in the book are needing the approval of others, following some normal conventions blindly, and getting trapped in the justice trap.
The book is arranged like a series of counseling session. Each chapter addresses a specific self-destructive behaviour or erroneous zone.
For now let’s get our focus on one convention that we should question in our daily life. Particularly in the context of Malaysian and Asian culture.
It is giving and receiving everything with the right hand. We have been taught that it is more polite and courteous to give and receive things with the right hand.
If it is polite to do so, let us ask ourselves this questions. What makes giving and receiving things with the left hand less polite? Isn’t the left hand is just as important as the right hand? Can we have only the right hand in our life?
We have also been taught that we should eat with the right hand and shake hands with other people using the right hand . If we were to really follow this, imagine how dirty our right hand will be if one day, we forget to wash the right hand after shaking hands with some random guy. And eat using that same right hand. Without washing it. Well, we don’t have any other right hand after all do we?
Therefore, if the left hand is “dirty”, in this case because right hand has been used more than the left hand, it must be much much dirtier. Ironic!
So, the convention of using the right hand to give and receive things is actually a baseless “shoulds” that we must question ourselves.
Lately, I have been trying to challenge this convention myself. I have been paying for stuff that I buy using my left hand. No one says anything. I bet most people don’t realise it anyway.
Up next for me is to get used to giving and receiving stuff using my left hand.
What can you do from now on then?
For starter, try to question every single norm that you have been following and doing all this while.
Look for a real reason behind those norms.
If there is no concrete reason, just do things your own way.
After all, the world is our own reality to live in.
We create the reality.