Parks Are For Play!
Some people won’t get you, no matter how you look, or what you do — even if it’s absolutely nothing!
“Not a bad office!” A fisherman said to me as he passed heading towards the lake.
This guy on the other hand, isn’t one of those people. He’s a happy fisherman. He loves the outdoors. He gets why someone would take their work outside on a sunny spring day.
People like him are awesome, but because it takes all kinds to fill this world, there’s plenty of room for those that won’t get you.
Be around that type long enough and you are bound to hear the *thip, whooooosh* of a parachute shooting out behind them… sometimes in the most laughable of situations.
What’s the parachute??
It’s a symbolic representation of what we deploy in challenging situations. Most people have one they carry around, including you.
Some simply use theirs more because the world is full of things they don’t understand -even the funniest of things.
I’ll give you an example.
It was a perfect day at the park.
He stopped to tie his sons shoe, and after noticing me on my laptop, turned to his son and very clearly said:
“WE know why we come to the park don’t we –we come to PLAY…”
His son, too young to understand why his dad was saying this over an untied shoe, quietly obliged a “uh huh” for the fatherly rhetoric.
But me, not being a toddler, knew exactly what happened.
This guy just deployed his parachute in front of me.
Because parks are for play. Not work. That’s something you do indoors…
I better make sure he knows that…
There goes the parachute.
It’s something we witness often, and it can be a source of laughter when it’s hilariously trivial, like not understanding why someone would want to be outside.
He didn’t know I frequently hiked there. That I knew how to have fun. That I was going to reward myself with a hike after getting some work done.
But what they don’t know about you doesn’t matter. People deploy their parachutes when they hear or see something that challenges their fixed way of thinking.
To not deploy means joining you in a scary free fall, one where they are forced to try to connect and understand, with an open mind, or risk splattering on the pavement of their own conscious. No one wants to splatter on their own conscious because they failed at figuring something out.
To me, it is also soft representation of what it’s like to be a physically unique person in a world that has clear definition of how a person is to act and look. It’s an example that shows what it’s like to challenge someones thinking without doing much other than being yourself.
All it took was using a laptop at a park to challenge a way of thinking.
What could a bowed leg, disfigured face, or deformed hand do?
The answer is: a lot. Perhaps no other group in society has caused more parachutes to deploy than the physically unique.
And the crazy part is, we do it without trying! No laptop or outdoor setting required!
In a way it’s kind of like having a super power. One that allows you to learn a lot about people through the circumstance and manner in which they deploy their parachute. It earns you an honorary Doctorate in sociology simply because it exposes you to so many unique social experiments, of which you can draw heroic insight from.
When looked in the right light, it is an invaluable power, even when the insights it reveals feel painful to know.
Not to mention, It can get tiring to be apart of an ongoing social experiment that you didn’t choose to be apart of.
While I could take my laptop and work in socially acceptable settings, avoiding situations like the above, the only answer for the physically unique would be to exercise a heroic level of seclusion, away from the public eye.
But here’s the thing… when you notice yourself shutting the world out in your seclusion… take a look behind you. Notice the ripcord you are holding, and the deployed parachute dragging behind you.
Just like them you have the power to deploy or embrace the free fall, where you try to connect and understand, with an open mind.
I hope we learn to embrace the free-fall. 🙂