How I Open the Cans in my Life

Danielle - Darien, Illinois
Entered on April 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

I believe in hand-held can openers. You know, the “old-fashioned” ones that you don’t plug in, but instead power with your own elbow grease. It may sound strange to you, but I find them much easier to work. Plus, they’re a lot less messy. The electric ones are always malfunctioning or losing grip, dropping your can on the counter and causing the contents to be spilled all over the place. The hand-held ones are simply more reliable, and you’re actually in control.

I find that a lot of things in life are like the can opener decision: which to use and why. I would guess that most people opt for the electric version simply because it appears more convenient. In contemporary society, that seems to be the driving force behind many of our decisions, and even though I often fall prey to that same sentiment, I have to wonder why. Why is it that we always look for the easy way out? Why do we choose something simply because it appears to be faster?

I like to think that it is my reasonable thinking that thus prompts me to prefer hand-held can openers, but then I am forced to wonder if it’s really the opposite: if I choose the hand held version because I am the one avoiding any extra hassle. Is my opinion really based on a divergent viewpoint or is it my small way of taking control? I like to think of using a hand-held can opener as a small way of promoting the ideals of working for what you want, putting in the effort to reap the rewards, instead of handing it over to someone (or some machine) to do it for you. But is that what it’s about?

To me, it is so sad that many people would never think to use the “old-fashioned” kind of can openers. Instead of taking the minute task upon themselves, they would rather clip the can onto an appliance and watch, waiting for it to be finished, instead of cranking the can opener around, forcing it past that last turn, and feeling that small sense of triumph from finally getting it open.

It seems so trivial, but I am a strong believer in the little things. For this reason, I believe there is meaning in opening a can, and I honestly do take pride in opening it myself. It makes me feel good that even though most people would choose a simpler method, I put in the extra muscle and do it without the aid of technology. So when it comes down to it, those other questions don’t really matter. Maybe I am choosing the way that has less risk and more controllability, but those factors aren’t really important. The important part is that I believe in working hard and being independent and I’m able find a way to express that on an everyday basis. I use a hand-held can opener. And I say that with pride.