Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Traveling observations... and communicating in context.

So I'm in San Francisco airport, grabbing a disgusting morning meal at Burger King. I've got an hour or two before my flight and I needed some morning sustenance. I love to people watch, so I open my eyes and ears to start absorbing the morning circus here at SFO.

Behind me in line are a couple more Vegas chicks looking ready to hit the strip. And they're talking.

God help me... they're TALKING.


But I use this as an opportunity to check in on another person's reality.

They're talking about going into a Sbarro's for breakfast and finding the food incredibly horrible, but they're SOOO drunk that they finish it anyway.

Yeah, as I was saying.

I find that conversations like this used to have many different effects on me. At first, I felt like, WOW, they're cool. They're having fun times. Party on!

Then, I saw this behavior more as immature pleasure-seeking. I would turn my nose up at their ignorance.

Then I felt superior to them because of it. I was aware and "awakened." They were so under-developed and ignorant.

Then I got over myself and learned how to just ignore their adolescent behavior. I became tolerant.

Then I realized that I was no different at that age than they were, and I developed more understanding for them.

Then I realized that they had a path to travel before they understood what was really important in life, and they were just getting started. I started to feel compassion.

And that eventually let me back to wishing them well, and to Party on!

But now I had a new understanding that traveled the circuit of their experience, even before they had gone down that road. I wasn't better or worse; I was just in a different place.

I really believe that we have to go through an evolution in our development that allows us to not be so sensitive to the condition of others. There will always be people that are further ahead (or further on a different path) and further behind, so we must do our best to open ourselves up to their experience of the world, without feeling oppressed or threatened by it.

Let's get back on that path...

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