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by Dylan Taylor-Lehman
I am in favor of instituting mandatory daily slappings. Once a day, at an appointed time, everyone in the human race stops what they are doing and trades a slap with a person close by them. Just a good, straightforward slap, once per day, from one person to another.
Why, you ask?
A daily slap would re-instill a sense of humility. From an early age, we are taught that winning isn’t everything, that honesty is the best policy. But who, aside from some obscure group of monks, actually lives a life free of social transgressions? Very few, I imagine.
And that’s really what the point is – whether or not you are doing something annoying at the time the slap-alarm is sounded, everyone could stand to be reminded that they share the world with other people.
That’s what is so beautiful about it: even if you are trading slaps with a total stranger, inside you’ll both know what it is that you might need to be slapped for.
Steal a pack of gum? You know in you heart you should be slapped. Your friend says he’s going to stop smoking but hasn’t even tried? Slapped! Get yourself into gear, man! Sick of that jerk cutting you off as you drive? Well, when the appointed time comes, you’ll both pull over and slap each other. The driver acknowledges drove like an idiot while you realize you shouldn’t get so bent out of shape about it in the first place.
Mandatory daily slappings would cross social strata. Picture a washroom attendant slapping a CEO (and vice versa), a mechanic being slapped by a customer (and vice versa), or a classroom of kids all slapping each other as part of their daily instruction. Because that’s what it is: social instruction. It teaches that, even if you own a bunch of buildings or a bank, you are still very capable of being slapped. If you are a lowly employee cutting corners, you are capable of being slapped.
Slapping as a cultural institution would start from an early age. (Of course social etiquette holds that you wouldn’t have adults slapping kids; adults can only slap other adults.)
Scheduled slapping would be something you just do. As part of the cultural climate, you learn to take it in stride. Avoiding your daily slap would be a major social faux paus, as would slapping once you’ve already had yours. But letting your anger build up to such a degree would be anathema in such a world of slaps anyway – you have a daily opportunity to blow off some steam, but the glee in doing so is held in check by the knowledge that you’ll get a slap too.
Overall, a culture of slappings would help put things in perspective. Whenever you’re having a bad day, whenever human behavior just gets you down, at least you know everyone gets slapped.
Seriously – trust this concept and help bring back humility and equity. Institute mandatory daily slappings today!