I’ve noticed an unusual phenomenon lately. The temperatures have been in the high twenties, with the humidex in the low thirties, yet I’ve seen an unnerving number of people wearing jackets. Two days ago, I saw a man mowing his lawn with a bomber jacket on… and not only on but completely zipped up! Then this afternoon, in less than a thirty minute span of time, I passed by at least seven people wearing jackets. Three of the guys were in one group, leaving me to briefly wonder if I was the one improperly dressed for the weather!
Several years ago, Sesame Street demonstrated how perception of something depends on our proximity to it, using an elephant as an example. NEAR………. far. The slogan was “it all depends on where you are”.
I’ve come to conclusion that this slogan can be applied to life. Or to wearing jackets in sweltering heat. Or to wearing shorts in the freezing cold.
You get my point.
Everyone is at a different place in life, and so their perceptions tend to vary. It’s easy for us to decide that our way is the right way or the best way or the only way but the reality is we’re not always right. And, even if we are right, the other person or people might not see it the same way because they’re not in the same place. It all depends on where they are. Just like it all depends on where we are.
The answer isn’t to force anything on anyone else. The world would be a much better place if everyone voiced their opinions or convictions without judgement, hatred, or ridicule. It’s the least we can do for others because it’s the least we hope for ourselves.
It’s ok to respectfully explain our viewpoint but that’s where it needs to end. Sometimes the most effective way to get our point across is to do more and say less. With the more important things in life, hopefully others will take notice and see that we’ve put our money where our mouth is (in a manner of speaking…). But, with the less important things in life – like wearing jackets in sweltering heat – maybe we’ll realize that it’s ok to be different. That there’s no right way or wrong way.
After all, at any moment the winds of change could blow, and we might be tempted to put a jacket on after all.