We are often accustomed to traditional beliefs or common sense. However, new research, new thinking often challenges these old beliefs. I would like to share an interesting experience that happened to me a while back.
I used to believe that in a civilized city, when taking the escalator, we should stand on the right side and leave a pathway for people in a rush. I was so deep into this concept that I started to despise people who did not follow the rule. A few months back, when I was traveling in China and taking the escalator up in a subway station, I saw people just standing arbitrarily, occupying the whole pathway. I felt annoyed by their behavior. I thought that I was the one standing on a moral high ground, and these people were simply inconsiderate.
Ironically, life proved me wrong once again. A few weeks later, while taking the subway in the same city in China, I saw a television show in the train compartment. The show was about the host interviewing people to see if they knew why it was not recommended for people to stand on the right and leave a pathway on the left anymore. I was shocked, so I listened carefully. There were two main reasons:
- The step will tilt to one side, accelerating the damage to the escalator.
- For safety reasons, it is not recommended for people to walk on the escalator.
This was an "a-ha" moment for me. I had never thought about it from that angle. I realized that people in a hurry should take the staircase next to the escalator. It doesn't make sense for them to blame people on the escalator for not leaving them a pathway. And by not asking people to stand on just one side, the throughput can increase too, resulting in shorter queues during rush hour.
I started to reflect that there may be many traditional beliefs and common sense that are obsolete. It's a whole new world, things change rapidly, and our mindset should keep up.