T306 Block 1: Activity 39

Connecting with a history in your own context.

At the beginning of this part of the block, I invited you to consider one of your own role(s) and situation(s) that could be kept in mind as you worked through the part. With this in mind, are you able to think of a practice that is carried out unquestioningly? Are you able to engage in any elementary archaeology to uncover some of the history of this practice?

One easy thing I can think of is the practice of washing your hands after going for a pee. I imagine that most of us think that this is a good thing. I certainly do. I certainly don’t want to be accidentally inserting certain fluids into my mouth, or passing them onto other people. There are germs involved.

I do wonder, though, that we might be creating weakened immune systems as a result of this practice. Are we too obsessed with cleaning everything that our bodies aren’t exposed as frequently to immune system-boosting bacteria?

I don’t really have time to “engage in any elementary archaeology” with this, but it’s certainly become something that you’re told to do from an early age. It’s to stop the spread of infection, I get that, and I’m still going to wash my hands after using the toilet like I always have done.

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