I found this video of How People Count Cash absolutely compelling. It’s fun to watch, but the real lesson is in just how much culture influences things that seem absolutely natural if you don’t stop to notice them. I certainly can’t remember anyone teaching me how to count money, but I count just like one would expect give that I grew up in North America, and the other forms of counting seem strange and awkward. I’m sure they’re not if you grew up with them, though!
It reminds me that human beings do a great job of naturalizing their experiences – making the things we do seem inevitable, even if they’re not. Do something long enough and people will start making up stories about why it’s the only right way to do things. (Why hello, evolutionary psychology!) This video made the way I handle money visible to me for the first time I can recall. Because of it, I’ll be looking for other things in my life that seem completely natural but, well, aren’t.