After staring at a blank sheet of a virtual Word, yet empty, paper for almost 15 minutes straight something struck at the ever-interacting nerve junctions and there you go a blog post after a very long break.
In one of my classes for this semester, one of my lecturers, trying to avoid names because I don’t want to get into the mundane routine job of APA styled referencing or citations for the names or works taken to validate *Phew! * smiling his cocky smile, speaks to the class “Any product or an Item coming with a manual means that they failed at designing it well”. To elaborate what he meant, not mansplaining mind you, we are in that generation where it’s easy for a toddler to learn how to operate a mobile phone or an iPad where that toddler did not even read a manual, to begin with. Our brains are re-learning and creating neural networks due to the process of trial and error that we practically do not need a manual to pick a few things up.
On the contrary, I had to attend a First aid certification workshop mandatorily for one of the part-time jobs that I have been doing and there every bandaging technique, epinephrine usage comes with a manual and a direction to use. Does it contradict to what my professor told? Am I enrolled in a wrong uni? Is it too late to pull out? *Wink* Oh! Those sinking in feelings that I had for a fraction of second.
Sensibility took over the insecurity drive and my brain started to marinate in its own wisdom. The requirement of a manual is directly proportional to the severity of the action. When someone is undergoing a severe allergic reaction (Anaphylactic shock) and without a proper manual to know which end of the epinephrine pen to be pricked into the patient the response would go in vain even if they had all the necessary tools to counter the emergency.
Do you need a manual to use a knife? Do you need a manual to adjust the time of your clock? Do you need a manual to make someone laugh, cry or make them feel good? We learn things over time. Experiences make us who we are with a manual or not.
Am I stating something obvious? Might be, but the realities of our beliefs, from the perspective of my professor and first aid tutor are two sides of the same coin.
But, unfortunately, we don’t have a by-the-book procedure or a manual to love someone, to be liked, hated, tolerated and for many other emotions. They all are intrinsic and circumstantial and can change or become severe over time. As Jack Gilbert writes in his poem ‘Tear it Down’ that “We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars” we must try and do things beyond the constraints of a manual or a code. Not a deviation in a harmful way, but a healthy update to it.
So, my fellow manual-seekers go out there and rough it up a bit. Do what you haven’t done yet, be mindful while you are at it. Because common sense is also the best manual that we have got and does not cost you anything to think.