Have you ever noticed how quickly most of us establish our territory?
I recently attended a 2- day conference (pre-Covid) and on the first day, I sat about 10 rows from the front on the right-side of the center aisle. When we moved to a different location for lunch, I left everything in my spot except for my purse and I returned to that location for the afternoon session. The next morning I arrived to find other people sitting in “my spot” and although I found another place to sit, I felt momentarily unsettled. My relationship to the room was different, the people around me were not the same, and my view of the speaker’s podium had changed.
We are drawn to our spots because they are comfortable. They are familiar. They don’t require adjustments, or re-orientation, or new knowledge.
In this moment in our country, it is clear that I need to sit in some new spots. I want and need to view the world from other points of view. I need a new perspective, new information, and additional awareness. I didn’t realize that I had gotten so comfortable in my spot. This moment is an appropriate time for me to feel awkward and unsettled, and I do.
As a child, when I didn’t understand someone, my Dad’s advice was always to suggest that I “walk a mile in their shoes.” I’ve got a lot of ground to cover and a lot of shoes to wear.