Monday, September 3, 2012

Won't Miss #484 - a lack of spontaneity

The flip-side of the fact that the Japanese have a ritual or guideline for how things should be done is that there is often a lack of spontaneity in interactions. People do what they're supposed to in the manner in which they are expected to do it and deviation from form or expectations is seen as poor manners, or worse. This is reflected in things like traditional Japanese culture such as business card exchanges and tea ceremony. People are expected to follow precise movements in an exact order. There is no creativity or spontaneity because changing the way things are done is seen as failure to observe proper manners or form. This stifles individuality in favor of predictability.

I won't miss the lack of spontaneity that comes from having relatively rigid rituals and guidelines for social interactions.