You know, over the last few days I’ve been thinking that there are a number of simple skills that any truly civilised and cultured western person should really have. Just in order to be truly civilised and cultured. So, in leiu of anything else to write about I thought I’d share the list so far…
Swiming – We are land mammals inhabiting a planet that is 60% covered in water. The ability to cope with said water without drowning is essential. When you add in the fact that we have numerous adaptions that seem intended for a semi-aquatic lifestyle (we’re virtually hairless compared to other mammals, we have big prominent noses to use as snorkels, etc), being able to swim is just common sense. The only excuse is to be living in a desert or on the tundra where’s there’s nowhere to learn.
Cutlery – There are two main types of cutlery in the world. Knives, forks and spoons on one hand, and chopsticks in the other (I challenge anyone to find cutlery that can’t be fitted into either of those categories). A civilised person should be just as adept and comfortable with chopsticks as with knives and forks. It’s not that hard!
Waltzing – The waltz is the most basic of western formal dances, and it behooves any civilised person to be able to at least manage it. It’s pretty damn simple too, as long as you can count. Now sure, I would never recommend learning it the way I did, but if there’s any silver lining to that particular horror it’s that I would be able to handle myself in a formal dancing situation. If I was ever forced into one that is.
CPR – Cardio Pulmonary Resucitation. A simple procedure that can mean the difference between life and death. And that’s the point it’s so simple. If every supposedly civilised person knew it, the death rate from cardiac arrest would plummet.
So, that’s my list so far. Naturally I have all of these skills, and hence consider myself to be truly civilised.
And consider myself to have an overly swollen head too 🙂