$half-shot.uk 'Stuck in the past' edition

Thinking Out Loud: Westerners

Thinking Out Loud: Westerners tol Will Fri 16th Sep 2016

Starting a new segment on the blog, just called 'Thinking Out Loud'. It is to be used as a way for me to talk about whatever is on my mind without anybody being able to to criticize me since I have stated that it is unstructured. (That was a joke, you're free to tell me I'm an arsehole or whatever over Twitter <3 )

So this week I'm sitting here, thinking about something my boyfriend raved to me earlier today. He is visiting Japan right now and the stuff I'm hearing (and researching) is fascinating. Their whole society is deeply rooted on honor, where you are expected to be well mannered and honest to others at the risk of disgracing yourself and your family. This is held above any other values which means that the trust itself has some meaning, and something people can hold onto. This fascinates me. In the end, the thought process is: "Why would they want to deceive me?" Obviously, I'm exaggerating by saying the whole country works in that fashion or even that people think that, but the end outcome is similar. There are people who probably hold more western values of wealth above themselves. But generally, people don't have motivation to cause ill to others without some kind of provocation and the system appears to work for the most part, people trust each other.

Compared to our (most of Europe, US n Co) society, where we stake little value in people and more in materialistic values. The question more often is "What is in it for me? What would be the worst case scenario?" which isn't inherently bad, but it is wildly different. My parents taught me not to talk to strangers and to be generally wary, as though moving through life itself was a game of survival. You may make the same allies, but trust is earned and not given. The idea of family honor is present to an extent, but not nearly to the same level. Naturally if I decided to commit a crime and get my name thrown in the mud, I would be considered dishonorable and I would expect my family and community to treat me badly. Generally speaking though if I make accusations at someone then an argument might ensure, but my 'honor' would be mostly intact since antitrust is common in our society and people might seem offended, but they expect it.

Of course, most readers would assume that Japan have their heads screwed on and we* should adopt a system that favors trust over antitrust as it sounds naturally more healthy. I agree that it would be a good idea, given a blank canvas. You see, I think what Japan have is really nice and a great example of how to do it right, but they have been this way since ancient times. The UK & her close allies however have always been fearful of anyone and to suddenly tell everyone that we have to start trusting our shop assistants, our neighbors and worst of all, our politicians is just too much of a leap to do, at least on a national scale.

I have always adopted the idea that I should trust the people I meet to a point, and if I want to make friends in this life I have to be open with them. That's why I've never shut down an active account for social media, because hiding myself feels both deceiving to myself and others. When I go to the shops, I don't check that everything is okay because I expect it to be. I don't examine the contents of my meal when I eat, because the chef would have no reason to deceive me. When I talk to friends, I expect them to have good intentions even when they do things I don't agree with. And for the most part, this has never let me down.

That was a bit of a ramble, so I'll take my leave now. Feel free to tell me that I've offended you or something on Twitter <3

* I say we, I mean the UK