This weekend I went to a grocery store I don’t normally go to. I was a bit spacey after yoga and the car just somehow drove itself into the parking lot. Plus I was hungry.
It was not in my neighbourhood and the people who live there are mostly wealthy retirees or Olympic athletes. I think it’s the proximity to training facilities that leads the latter group to live in the area, not the rent that costs twice an average annual stipend.
I went in and did my shopping. It took longer than usual and I was feeling a bit impatient and wanting to get out of this place. Why can’t all grocery stores in the same chain orient their stores the same way? I was looking at a woman a few check-outs over. Maybe I blend in with these grocery-buying people better than I think. They aren’t all wealthy, or retired, or seniors, or Olympians. Maybe my judgment was too general and flippant to notice that we are more alike than different.
I often take a good look at a few random passengers when I first get on an airplane. I figure that if the plane goes down, these are the people who may possibly help or save me, and vice-versa. No matter what I think of them at first blush, we are in this tin box together til we reach our destination. There is some sort of cosmic rapport with these people.
Do I judge the airplane people less than a guy on the street? I confess, I do judge a little less. These may be the people I’ll need to drag my unconscious body out of the fuselage should we be in a very dire situation together. I like them a little more because I want to trust them. The same is true, I suppose, of some guy on the street. I just find it a lot less likely that I would need the help on the street. Or that the circumstances to bind us would be so immediate or dire.
But the likeliness of any event actually occurring should not be my basis for judgment or moderate my willingness to change that judgment. Sometimes, because we are so circumstantially oriented, changing our mind is hard to do.
Earlier that day, in yoga class, our instructor told us to feel what we are feeling and then give in, just a little. We can allow ourselves to soften without anyone even noticing.
I resist change, preferring to alter things according to my own schedule and liking. But even when I make a sour face and cross my arms, I have also given in, just a little. I have connected my thoughts to an idea and allowed it space. So the change is not earth-shattering, but it is change. And this is how change happens. We think a little bit differently, and later we do things a little bit differently.
Maybe the guy on the street will be on next flight I catch and I will see it’s the same guy, even if he hasn’t changed.
(Photo credit: Xpectro)