Sneaky Change

July 31st, 2019

We dined with some visiting friends at a local Chinese restaurant that my wife and I have frequented over the last several years.  I placed the order for the group and requested rice bowls and chopsticks.  To my surprise, the present staff had no idea what rice bowls were.  The senior wait staff lady came to ask us if our intent was to eat like Chinese people with rice bowls and chopsticks.  I confirmed politely and she presented us with the requested implements.  I inquired and the staff were not American born Asians.  How wild; can you imagine a cultural change at that level?  I cannot.

Two days later I was chatting with a new Asian woman employee at my bank while waiting for a notary service.  I shared my Chinese restaurant story and asked if she had noticed any trend in eating differently in her home country.  She said that she graduated from college in Asia and came straight to America for a job.  In college she had not been around family or anyone that ate the traditional way.  Her facial expression did not indicate to me any surprise with the possibility of an eating style change.  What would it take to generate such a state of change even if just with young folks?  I don’t believe such a change has accorded in China, yet, but that is a profound example of the power in an evolutionary mandate.

Most of us talk about change, spiritual growth, high demand stress culture, complexity; but we seem to resist all this change or at best struggle with it perpetually.  I fully agree with the need for some type of “slap in the face” to wake us up and I’m willing to embrace such an experience.  However, the evolutionary mandate is sneaky and it undercuts our values (utility) to present a new path, habit or pattern, not for the same goals, but for newly presented goals that are not conscious  or supported yet (no story).  We got taken, again, by a system that must have a bigger database than Google.  But in truth we are awesome in our story telling, less awesome as a global citizen, only 40% human by DNA, fully indoctrinated in a family drama and a community or tribe.  The story of “I” is habitually the story of family and community with only a hand-full of unique twists mostly generated by random meta-patterns.  Our fingerprints, gut biome, DNA, an assortment of meta-patterns and a few story indexes may be all that produce the proud “me.”  In the last few thousand years most of us have bridged the gap from “me” to “us” as a tribe or community.  The gap from “us” to “them” is much larger and our next human goal.  We are one planet; one people with a mixed up batch of human stories, rules, ethics and politics.  We got this far from securing “no” and entertaining “we” as an extended and enriched identity.  Talk to your grandchildren and gain their views on all those characteristics, concepts and belief structures that you may still hold sacred.  Spend some time reflecting in meditation and see how many of these you may secure as “done” and extend your range.  Uniqueness is a resource to humankind that we don’t wish to lose.  Instead of killing folks for it we need to respect them for their distinctiveness.  And don’t forget that the evolutionary mandate will more than likely change the game and the goals; unnoticed.


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