It is something most of us do: drive our car. We want to go somewhere, we jump in, turn the key and the motor starts. We can get in go anywhere we wish at any time and it’s better than the train because there’s no bother about timetables, tickets or having to wait for the next one – or worry about missing a connection.
If there is one salient feature about the motorcar, it is that at its best, it is not the car itself that we enjoy. It is the getting to our destination, or the feeling of speed, power and acceleration. We come to a red stop light or a traffic jam and the pleasure becomes rather less in as much as it’s no longer possible to do precisely what was wanted – and as importantly, as quickly as possible.
What hasn’t been spoken of yet is the motorcar itself. The ability to drive a motorcar is something that has become one of life’s normalities; it is not something that need be thought about. Nor is the user’s manual needed to drive it: a red light is seen and the car is brought to a stop. There is no need to be aware of the actual process of bringing it to a halt – after all, the car will not do this for itself.
There was one occasion where I was in an empty car park and I thought to try a little experiment. I was driving very slowly and I used my left foot on the brake pedal. Now my right foot was well trained in the subtle use of the brake; my left foot was trained only to let the clutch in or out. Putting my left foot on the brake pedal was extremely uncomfortable because my car lurched to a stop! Clearly I had been taught to use each of my feet in a different way.
I will remind you that feet are for walking; and yes, this is pretty obvious.
That is, however, what this blog is about. The simplicities of life that most of us overlook. Few of us need to do anything more with our feet than just walk. When we walk, we do so in a way that treats our feet equally. There are those who have developed more capacities with them, but that is not the point of this post. What I want to look at is how we have accepted the training of each of our feet in a different way so that we can drive a car safely.
In learning how to drive, it was the outcome, the driving, that led to the training. The training was a journey in itself, so to speak; it was a means to an end. Like the car itself, it is largely irrelevant what car we drive as long as it gets us there. It was irrelevant who trained us just as long as we got our licence.
As a process, it is overlooked. We wanted to drive, we were taught. Nothing more need be said.
Save that we now have the facility in our right foot that is clearly better developed than our left. If you are thinking that this is merely my opinion, then I suggest you try the little experiment mentioned earlier and you will discover the reality for yourself. But then, those people who speak of opinions are not those who are going to try things for themselves. Speaking of opinions is as good a way as any of saying that they don’t have to be bothered with this kind of thing.
But this is the point of this post: those of you who want to try this little experiment will discover something for yourself. You may already have tried it for yourself, my experience in speaking with other people is that most of them haven’t. Nor am I particularly worried about those who don’t want to, they’d not be interested in what happened anyway. To them it’s just too ordinary.
Which is where the sheep are separated from the goats, so to speak. There are many more things that we take for granted that can be explored in this way. It’s more that if I meet someone who is interested in exploring any aspect of their ordinary lives they will be interested in exploring others. That is where the fun begins – and that is where they will begin to realize how extraordinary our ordinary lives really are.