An interesting read in today’s newspaper had to do with the proclamation by a cognitive scientist that a Pencil eraser is the Devil! Who would have thunk it?! The innocent little eraser, the scrubby little thing, the chocolate toffee sized, multi-faceted pencil eraser is a devil?? Really? As you read along, you would realize that the pencil eraser is used to correct mistakes made and give an appearance of cleanliness, almost as if the contents were all written clean and good at the first time of writing. It encourages children to seek perfection in their presentation at the cost of making mistakes and learning from these mistakes. The act of erasing misspellings or hastily scribbled, illegible notes indicates a need to cover up and not own up to faults and/ or mistakes.
Ah! Now that makes sense. When I was encouraging people to make mistakes so they learn from them, I did not realize that the devil of playing it safe and presenting a clean picture to the world germinates from the darn pencil eraser! Assuming that the pencil eraser has been around for centuries, I must confess that humankind has not done bad for itself in terms of development and improvement in living standards across the world. So the devil has not been all pervasive, it would seem. The thought is fascinating, isn’t it? What if none of us covered up our faults and learnt to live with them and expose them to the world as they stand today. Would it be even singularly possible for us to shed our inhibitions?
The modern day equivalent of the pencil eraser is the backspace key on our keyboards. I know that this blog post would have been an absolute mess and very much unreadable if it is weren’t for my beloved “delete” key. I am not the most fluent of typists, nor do I have a knack of expressing myself clearly without the need for erasing and re-typing content as I go along. Come to think of it, even my mind works in the same way! I think and re-think what I have to type and therefore, need to erase and retype as I go along. Words are formed in much the same way. When we control our emotions, aren’t we suppressing natural thoughts and allowing for society to function in the way we know it today?
So much for cognitive scientists and their theories. I vote for the pencil eraser and every other kind of eraser in the world today. To forgive and forget is divine. The forgetting part would be impossible if it weren’t for the little devil, called the eraser.