I often find myself thinking and writing about how the context that we find ourselves in dictates very much of what we are willing to “accept” (or put up with as the case might be) in one setting that we would not find acceptable in another setting. Three examples to bring it to life:
- Ever get on a crowded subway car? Pushed up very, very close to each other (well, ok, leaning into and on complete strangers). Imagine now, in a meeting at work where you have the same kind of “close encounter” - NOT
- Sit on a completely full airplane for a very long flight with no ability to move around. Imagine now being at home watching TV for four hours in the same very small chair unable to get up, for any reason. - NOT
- Go to the beach and wear essentially little to no clothing. Imagine now, in another public setting, your local restaurant everyone sitting around in their underwear while eating. - NOT
· And so I am hoping that you are laughing or at least chuckling out loud about the prospects of such scenarios playing out in “real life” And I also hope that you are asking yourself, what is it that is going on? Why is the context so important and what can we, on our THPL journey, take away from these situations? I have three thoughts:
First, what these examples show is that we have a lot of power, control and understanding that we can use to our advantage. If we are willing to put up with difficult scenarios in certain circumstances then we have a capability that we can tap into whenever we need to. It is there to be used and I offer it might be good to take advantage of it more often than we do.
Second, with the proper training and communication of cultural norms we can do things that we previously would not do. It tells me that we can get a lot of people to change and do things differently without even a very big effort - you just need to put them into the right context and they adapt instantly (I have never met anyone who was trained on riding a subway, sitting on a plane or wearing a very small bathing suit).
Third, anything really is possible when the result justifies the means. In each of these scenarios we want an outcome ( I suppose a tan in example ) and we are willing to do things, odd and crazy, to get the result.
THPL, and the journey that we are on, contemplates scenarios, situations, experiences that are on both sides of this post – that is sometimes you need to conform and sometimes you need to revolt – in both instances the willingness to get beyond our sometimes “limited” view of what is possible should be enabled by the realization that you are already doing things differently. So, why not just do a few more differently ? Seems to be the norm, after all……
Loving life in my swimsuit and sitting on an airplane, leaning on the big guy next to me