A Sideways Mug
I saw the mug on its side and thought, “why doesn’t he understand?” My second cousin lived with me in this house for some time. I am very particular about the way that certain actions are taken, like drying dishes and mugs.
I am the strong opinion that mugs and glasses should be dried on a dying rack upside down. That way, gravity pulls down any remaining water along with its mineral content and it dries clean, rather than evaporating and potentially leaving some hard water mineral residue. It seems obvious and self-evident to me that this is the right way to dry a mug. So when I see someone drying a mug the wrong way, I get a bit frustrated and wonder they might be ignorant to the right way. This is true to such an extent that I seemingly forget that my way is an opinion.
When we see someone taking an action in a manner that we perceive to be wrong, we tend to presume either ignorance or malicious intent. As I knew that there was no malicious intent behind laying the mug sideways, I jumped to the condescending view that he simply needed to be instructed on the right way of placing a mug in a drying rack.
Unfortunately, some of the loudest people in the world are doing something similar right now.
But what if he wasn’t simply ignorant? Perhaps he too had considered the different ways of placing a mug in a drying rack: upside down, right side up, and sideways, and simply come to a different conclusion about the right way of placing it in the rack. The dissent may be that my logic was infallible; what could be better than a perfectly dry, residue-free glass, you ask?
Well, for one, his priorities might be different. Who knows what’s on that drying rack. Do you really want the lip of mug in contact with a surface of dubious hygiene? Perhaps the trade-off of a little residue is worthwhile. And it may very well be that going sideways is the appropriate middle ground.
We would do well in believing that others may be as thoughtful and considerate as we are, but may come to different conclusions about the world. Now is not the time for the west to take up re-education camps, corporate or otherwise. But maybe we can all agree that right side up is definitely not the right way to dry a mug.