My landlady and her maintenance guy put in a long day fixing a few problems in my apartment. After all the work was done, and it was hard work which I greatly appreciated, I discovered that my new kitchen faucet knobs were reversed. The one on the left marked H produces cold water, and the one on the right marked C produces hot water. Considering the hours they had put in, I can understand how one of them made the mistake. So far, I haven’t felt the need to bother them about it. As I live with my backwards faucet knobs, they make me pay attention to a simple task, bringing mindfulness into the ordinary. They also make me think. What if we all had to stop and consider this way before speaking or acting? Hot words? Pause to check. Cold actions? Pause to check. What will happen when I turn them loose? Is that outcome what I really want?
Of course, it would take a lot of the drama—and realism—out of my fiction if my characters always took these pauses, but it would take a lot of the drama out of daily life, and off the world stage as well, if more of us did. For my own part, I’m working on it.