As Easy As Drinking A Cup Of Tea – it’s complex

We take drinking as a very ordinary thing. However, what is happening is quite complex and based on a mass of learning.

Our hand grabs the cup. This is quite a sophisticated action requiring us to:

  • judge distance and pressure
  • work out a specific placement on the cup so as not to knock it over, or miss all together.
An empty mug used for tea.
Janet’s tea cup – sadly empty

We lift the cup at the speed, learned over a life time, that doesn’t swill the liquid out of the cup but is fast enough to satisfy our desire. Without looking we touch the cup to our lips. Then we judge the level of tilt required to deliver a reasonable amount of fluid, without sloshing a deluge up our noses. We brace ourselves for it to be too hot and we take evasive action if it is. We respond if someone knocks us mid-swill and we adjust position to deal with this.

Judgement as sophisticated as this takes a lifetime to develop.

Taking a drink of tea (or anything else) requires extensive experimentation and learning though our lives. Without realising it, we develop the skill to analyse, measure and adjust in a rather refined and unconscious way. All this in order to be able to drink a cup of tea effectively.

Is it possible, therefore, that actually we aren’t all experts on what to do during a more complex situation, like a pandemic, for instance?

Is it conceivable that people with the responsibility of making the best decisions on a situation far more crucial than drinking tea, are quite possibly doing a good job? Even if it may not look like it? Maybe what is happening is complex and so we will have no idea what the “right” choices are until the whole thing has blown over? At that point, and only at that point, we will be able to analyse the outcome? Could it be that currently we really have no idea?

Could it? I rather suspect it could.

4 thoughts on “As Easy As Drinking A Cup Of Tea – it’s complex

  1. Janet, I read it! Short, sweet & therefore hits the spot.

    I think we are at a perfect swirling point of time, I’m sure there have been many in history, a time when experts have been consistently dismissed and arm chair /Twitter/Instagram….experts on steroids are out andare sharing expertise we never knew they had. It’s because they don’t. Boiling everything down to two mins soundbites or simple messages is also not our friend all the time. As you infer/say, life is complicated. Responding to this, as you say, is complicated.

    I do hope for learning as we go and retrospectively. I hope also for clear and direct answers in the meantime with the information available. This is not the time for political waffle from any party. It’s tricky.

    I find your last three sentences powerful. They nail it for me.

    1. Thanks Sharon. I think this is a testing time for our generation, just as our parents and grandparents had theirs. The difference now of course is instant communication – which is good and bad.
      Most of all, though, I think we just need to drink more tea! 🙂

  2. Thanks Janet for a thoughtful read! My concern at the moment is that whilst we learn to drink a cup of tea no one starts to blame us if we get it wrong. There may be some helpful guidance but no blame.
    What is different now is that blame is never far away, so we are in a testing time and I hope that we try to avoid the blame game. It is such a negative action!
    Thanks again for a good read!

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