There are some things in the run of life that are taken for granted. Regardless of societies and upbringing, we hardly spend time musing about them. We assume they are just so. But in unusual circumstances, we begin to reflect on them. We may advance in our thinking beyond the average, so to speak. We could even swing to the extreme or get enveloped by it without being stampeded.
Is it pattern?
Take for example the ability to recognize natural voices. We do so naturally without undergoing any training. We recognize natural voices of relatives, friends and acquaintances. Is it not intriguing to hear the voice of a classmate in college after twenty years and intuitively recognize same from a distance in ‘a strange telephone call’?
A child’s recognition of her mother’s voice is assumed. It is by familiarity some would say. Mum used to ask: Is it normal for a siblings who had lived together not to recognize the other sibling’s voice? On this score, some may point to innate and endowed sensory capacities still mystifying science and unexplained empirically.
Humans go beyond voice recognition. They can assess variations in pitch, pace, emotion and give notable interpretations. Despite the fact that technology has exploited this knowledge to advance fronts and fonts in sounds engineering, natural voice has not lost its preeminence, especially in natural settings. In day to day living, it is just so, many would say. But voice recognition is more than a cursory occurrence. How many times have we given a thought to this ‘ordinary’ thing. A little thought here and there could perhaps advance our minds to greater things, in other areas of life than the pattern we see every day or those impressed on us.
Early reflection on patterns for many did not begin with what may appear like abstract or esoteric pattern. A rewind takes one to Mama Kimberly’s shop. the pattern of those “London trained” seamstress of yore. Those in that field are now known as fashion designers. The old seamstress use old newspaper or discarded cement bags cuttings for their designs. Many at that time never used natural leaves pattern as designs. It was considered local. But after years of following the ‘civilized’ world, many have come back to the natural designs of leaves, tree rings, natural layers of things,and other natural patterns. What do you make of this and mankind?
Cleanliness has universal dotting. Across board from east to west north to south, cleanliness has a universal underlay varying in depth and practice. Limitations cannot take away the essence – there is need to keep clean. In some cities of the world, one may be tempted to be drawn to a comparison that hardly deal with the underlying issues of cleanliness.
Some may even contend that some cities with their peoples are naturally dirty while others are clean from the beginning. However, casual reflection takes one away from such blunder. A deeper look at political, social and economic indices prompting behaviours will debunk such notion.
Have you observed the place of white cloth in social and religions situations across the world? There could be philosophical input with and to it. But it is interesting to see how widespread it is in religious and non religious societies. The thought of purity is ingrained somewhat in its usage. It tends to point to the notion beyond colour and something universal about cleanliness.
Every society knows about cleanliness. Yet some move hysterically on the matter like a drunk. Men and women in time, place and circumstances will vary in their cleanliness. Historically, lowering in cleanliness is suffered from time to time, otherwise, there will not be appeals for hand washing and cleanliness all over the world today.
In the same vein, the knowledge of germs and virus are not completely strange to so called backward societies. They know about wounds and exposure. What happens when hands are dipped in soup – its souring effects. In some ways they know about bacteria, fungi, virus and the power of the hands. Our hands positive and negative roles in relation to food, and health is self evident. When an elder says “ka aka nsi bay na onu” ( that contaminated hand will enter your mouth) he knows what contamination of the hand does to the mouth. Its capacity to contaminate even poison the whole body. An old man used to say “one grain of sugar one germ”. This was not taught at formal school system. There seem to be few things that are truly new in our material universe?
The knowledge of cleanliness ran for millenniums and millions survived. That knowledge gives meaning to living. It helped people to survive Otutu (Spanish flu). As it is, the whole world is yet to attend the level of consciousness of minimal cleanliness in body and spirit. Otherwise hand washing would not require renewed calls across the globe every time there is Ebola, Covid-19 epidemic and other health crises.
Though, some have advanced to a point, others are still at the rudimentary because of social and religiously instigated behaviors. Yes, gradually the message is hitting home. But mankind only react according to the size of their memory. The human brain is big and complex, unfortunately, it also very small in a sense. The recognition of this shortfall should enforce us not to be deceived by those promoting absence of universalism in human affairs.
The virus of today goes beyond civilized and uncivilized societies. There will still be a drop in cleanliness and hand washing after this episode. But remembering the foregoing will help us not to drop in our senses of standard. It will help us to monitor the dropping of standard that is choking the world in all spheres of life. There are standard even standard of cleanliness. If we like, ask whose standard? We know we would not ask any of the rampaging epidemic the same question! We would simply obey by improving our hygiene!
The power of our hands is the a message for all. Draw from the message physically, sublimely and spiritually. “Use your hands well”🙏🏻 It can mean greatness, living or death in a new world of technology and epidemic.
It is instructive to recall the disposition and limitation of the human mind under some conditions. This enables us to quickly address and rise, regardless of where we live. Imaife.com says:
“Spring waters come in such a clean way that the human mind in all its impurities hardly think of any impurity in a spring as it bubbles forth. That is the beauty in complexity of purity of nature.”®
Our next article will focus on how our people survived in the past and perhaps a lesson or more for now.