Humans. Let’s face it, we’re weird. But have you ever stopped to think about just how weird we are? If you do, you may find yourself agreeing with my sentiment that we are quite likely the oddest creatures in all of existence. In fact, I have often professed to a belief that sentient species from other solar systems have come to Earth, seen humans in their natural habitat, and fled in fear that perhaps our actions are a manifestation of a contagious virus – one which no alien species would want to risk contracting.
Before you tell me I’ve gone off my rocker, hear me out. I mean, I may well be nuts, in fact I probably am, but that doesn’t change the veracity of my claim.
The idea that we humans are wacko has been in the back of my brain for years. However, it’s when I tell people what I do for a living that the idea rises to the forefront of my brain where it shows itself with amazing clarity.
I’m a lactation consultant. Most people have a vague idea of what that is. However, when I get the glazed over, head scratching look, I elaborate thus – “I teach moms how to breastfeed.”
Funnily enough, the two people who have given me the funniest response to this were men. They both looked at me with a look of such utter confusion that for a moment, I thought I would need to explain further what breastfeeding was. But no, the reason they were knocked speechless was because they, like we all should, seemed to find it odd that someone needs to teach a woman how to breastfeed.
That got me to thinking. And it hit me. What I’m basically telling people when I tell them that I’m a lactation consultant is that I teach mammals to be mammals. Yeah, that’s what I do. Despite the fact that humans are a species that are categorized based on the fact that they lactate to provide nourishment for their young and as such, breastfeeding is germane to the definition of what a human is.
Now, I’m not suggesting that learning to breastfeed is easy and that it doesn’t warrant the support of someone with my special skill set. I’d be crazy to do that – I’d be arguing myself right out of paid employment – hmmmmmmm 🙂
However, what I find sadly humorous, and completely bonkers, is that breastfeeding is just one of a myriad of basic aspects of human life for which humans have determined a need for expert educators. In fact I’ve only been able to come up with one basic human function for which I’ve never read instructions, often touted as being based on research, on how to do said function correctly.
Think about it.
Go online and in less than ten seconds you will find an expert, someone with the proper credentials, to tell you how you should eat, what you should eat, and what you should not eat.
You can find instructions for the correct way to breath, walk, sit and squat.
Many claim that there is a right and a wrong way to trim your nails, exfoliate and remove unwanted hair.
There’s a correct way to brush your teeth, blow your nose, sneeze, and even go to the toilet.
We have experts in the act of procreation, childbirth, and (like yours truly) breastfeeding.
As you think about the things you do, or could do, or would like to do, on a daily basis, try to find something for which there is not a purported right or wrong way to do it. Good luck.
As I said, there’s only one basic function for which I’ve never seen instruction. Not that instruction doesn’t exist, but I don’t recall seeing it, and I’m loathe to go looking, lest I find that even that one act has been studied to death, and I will have to cringe at the idea that there is no remaining facet of life that humans have not determined has a need for experts to guide us.
That one thing is – blinking. I’ve never been told how to do it. If there exists an expert on the correct way to blink, I fear humans are doomed.
On the bright side, perhaps it’s our very craziness that has kept us safe from an alien invasion – if that’s the case, fire away with the ‘how to blink correctly’ instructions, I’m all ears 🙂