The Perils of Disrespect

albumen silver print photograph of a collection of weapons: knife, cosh and cleaver
albumen silver print photograph of a collection of weapons: knife, cosh and cleaver

Collection of Weapons. Albumen silver print from an album of pictures used to solve Paris crimes and disasters. Gift of the French Government possibly after the International Exhibition of 1880 via State Library of Victoria

Just a quick one today – I grated my finger and nail the other day. I had to cut off the hanging edge and it’s still sore. Tempting as it is to show you a picture of that, I’m fairly sure you don’t want to see it. It’s a little embarrassing, but this is what happens when you disrespect your tools.

Which reminded me…

Several years ago, I bought a set of Japanese kitchen knives, and they came with a small, precisely folded set of instructions.

While the instructions were bemusing (what kind of moron needs instructions for a knife?) they were charming, because they were poetic and implied that the knives had souls.

According to the instructions, the key point about knives is respect. If you respect your knife, it will respect you. But if you disrespect it, it will disrespect you.

If you take a moment to think about this, you know it’s true.

When you take your knives for granted, stop paying attention and treating them carefully, that is when they will cut you. The same goes for other sharp instruments (like graters) as well as hot things and pointy things.

And this notion of disrespect is also true of dogs, magpies, and bees.

As well as people. When you disrespect people, they will disrespect you too; the stereotypical waiter that puts one kind of bodily fluid or another in your meal. Or from the other side, the customer who not only doesn’t come back, but advises all their friends not to either.

So especially when it comes to people, pay attention, treat them carefully and whatever you do, don’t take them for granted.

8th July 2016

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