Back in my former company's former office, we had a tiny little kitchen that barely two people could squeeze into for food-related tasks. It was often the case that foreign staff, who had a set schedule for conducting lessons by phone, would find themselves log-jammed into that small space at about the same time setting up drinks for the upcoming session of telephone speaking.
Since my boss and I are both tea aficionados, we found ourselves, once again, jockeying for positions in that small room as we made our teabag and milk applications and dealt with some lunch-related dish-washing. We went about our business in the kitchen with the light out because there was a single window through which sufficient light was passing for us to take care of such mundane ministrations in a relatively dim setting.
A salesman wandered over to the postage meter that was inconveniently planted in front of the office refrigerator and said, "You're in the dark. Why are you working in the dark?" Both my boss and I said that we could see just fine and didn't need to use the light. The salesman, nonetheless, walked over and turned on the kitchen light. He decided to substitute his assessment of the needs of the situation for ours.*
This experience illustrated something which I've seen time and again in all areas of life. That is, people approach life as if their perspective and judgment are the appropriate ones and that the solution to the problem is the one that suits their sensibilities. It doesn't occur to them that different people may have different needs and there isn't a "one size fits all" solution that oh-so-conveniently just happens to be in their "size" (all the time, no less).
Awhile back, there was a lot of hubbub in the foreign community about instituting a language proficiency "requirement" for people who work in Japan on long term visas. A lot of the fretting about this was misplaced and based on ignorance of the situation and inadequate research into what the details of the proposed change. (Incidentally, I have no interest in debating the merits and demerits of this potential requirement and any comments addressing this point will not be replied to and may in fact be booted by my moderator - it's already been discussed to death everywhere else.) The interesting thing about all the commentary regarding this situation was that, in debating what level of Japanese language proficiency was sufficient, everyone set the bar where they would be most comfortable setting it. People who can read and write Japanese well felt high levels were fair. People who knew little Japanese felt basic communication should be enough. Those who have studied for and taken standardized tests (JLPT) chose whatever level test they'd already passed. Those who could speak but not read and write felt only oral ability should be tested.
Except for a few rare cases (my blog buddy Penguin for one, who is quite proficient in Japanese, but had concerns about the practicality of instituting such a policy at all), most people set the bar right at where their proficiency was settled. Their "size" was the one they felt was just right for everyone when it came to Japanese ability.
My intent with this post is not to assert that I know what solutions are best or what is right and others do not, but simply to encourage people to be be less rigid about what they believe is "right", "sufficient", and "acceptable". Everyone is different and has different needs. The way you live your life and view your world from how good your language skills have to be to cope with your particular job in Japan right down to things as small as how much light you need to see to do a task can be different from person to person and you shouldn't place your judgment above everyone else's.
*I will note that blue eyes allow in more light than brown eyes and both my former boss and I have blue eyes, though clearly the salesman didn't think about what we could see. He only thought about what he could see.