Friday, November 10, 2006

What would you do if someone knocked over the a pyramid of tins in the supermarket?

Denis Lane's booklet One World - Two Minds (OMF) is a great little book exploring eastern and western ways of thinking, and critiquing both from a Christian point of view. Here's one intriguing snippet:

"if a Westerner is in a market [in an Eastern country] and drops a basket of fruit and the fruit scatters over the floor, he may find people standing around grinning at him. But to the observers, to run and help him pick up the fruit would only underline the shame he has experienced in dropping the basket in the first place. By smiling at him, his Eastern friends are saying, 'Never mind, it is nothing; you have done nothing of which to be ashamed.' On the other hand, a Westerner standing by might be feeling guilt because he did not go to help his fellow human being gather up the fruit." (p.62)

1 comment:

Joel said...

Very interesting. This happened to a lady right in front of me on Saturday in town (although with a pile of books in a bookstore). I went for the good old Western practice and helped her pick them up.