Titli’s Sporadic Blog – July 2012
31st July 2012
There is something on my mind that has been bothering me for a while. To put it simply, it is the way that a lot of people seem to view the world.
I’ve been a YouTuber for over three years now and I come to realise a few things. Something that comes up time an time again is the way that some people believe that there is one, AND ONLY ONE, way of doing something. The “correct” way, according to their thinking, is the way that they know and understand. Let me give you a few real life examples.
Let’s start with my recipes. On the front page of my website you will note that I don’t claim that any of my recipes are definitive versions of classic recipes, but rather that they are typical and, more importantly, they work and can be made at home. A kind of 80:20 rule, if you will. Eighty percent of the taste for twenty percent of the effort. So I get a little frustrated when someone posts a comment telling me that I’ve added something I shouldn’t have added, or I’ve missed out a key ingredient (which happens to be extremely difficult to find in most parts of the world). And then there’s the occasional, “That’s not how you make (Insert dish here)”, leaving us all with no idea about how the recipe fails to match up to their expectation of how to make (Insert dish here). But then I do worry about people who troll around watching videos of things they apparently know all about already. I once had a fisherman who must gut hundreds of fish a day telling me that my fish-gutting technique was all wrong. The only question I had was why he was watching videos on fish-gutting if he spent all day doing it?
As an aside, when cooks on YouTube do something a little different with a recipe they get comments to say that it’s “wrong”. If a celebrity chef does something different with a recipe it’s hailed as a “twist” and they are applauded for it. Life’s like that. You should expect criticism when you don’t conform to the accepted norms if you are not in a position of fame or power, otherwise you will be hailed as an innovator or entrepreneur.
Real Life Example Number Two concerns Islam. I’m sure that at least some of you reading this blog won’t realise how divided a religion Islam actually is. There are the Sunnis, the Shias, the Sufis, the Ahmadiyyas, the Qadianis, the Wahabis, the Ismailis and the Ibadis, just to name a few. They all have God, Muhammad and the Qur’an at their heart but they all differ in some elements of doctrine and the practicalities of their faith. Each one believes it has the “correct” interpretation of Islam and will pull out any number of interpretations and citations to prove their points. In this regard Islam is no different from any other major world religion.
So what is it about the human condition that some people need to feel that they are “right” to the extent that they feel the need to tell everyone else that they are “wrong”? Why is it so hard for some people to accept the ways and beliefs of others? Is it because they feel threatened by difference and feel secure only in what they know and understand? Or is it a mechanism used to appear of greater importance and value than they really have – the “know-it-all” who talks a lot but actually knows very little, if you like.
Sometimes I despair at the tribalism that seems inherent in human society, and how people consider their own tribe to be ultimately superior to all others. I use the word “tribe” here to mean creed or race or gender or skin colour or whatever label you want to consider which denotes a difference between you and the person next to you. I am reminded of a passage in the Qur’an (49:13)
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes so that you may know one another.”
That you may know one another, not that you may despise one another. If only more people understood that.