When I go to a place for the first time and I sit down my brain believes I own that seat. The next time I arrive I will expect that seat. If someone is sitting in MY seat I’ve been known to tap a shoulder and inform them of their egregious error. Most people gladly move but I’m sure are thinking insane thoughts as they shuttle their belongings to another seat. Crazy, I know, I’m working on it.
The other day the internet gifted me with another story about a series of posts from Twitter user Thomas McFall who has a similar seat issue and ended up calling himself out about it. Needless to say, I was drawn to this particular story because I intimately understand wanting MY seat. You can read it in full HERE. The abridged version is this:
They were at college and he liked to sit in this particular seat. Every day the gentleman next to him would have a pile of his belongings on it. Ever day he’d be annoyed as the gentleman would clear his things and high five him at the start of class. The writer indicated that the gentleman didn’t speak much English and as this happened every single day he was getting highly annoyed. It was ruining his class.
One day he had to hang back and finish a phone call and witnessed something that changed his perspective. Another student tried to sit in his seat and the gentleman said:
“Oh, sorry, that’s my friend Tom’s seat.”
Every day he walked in that classroom thinking this foreign kid was just a nuisance but it was really because he considered him his friend. What happened next was even more beautiful. Read the article and see what happens when you invite someone you may not share a similar life story or world view to lunch.
Perspective is powerful. We lean on ours all the time. So often we can be annoyed by someone’s actions without ever considering their perspective or even considering that our perspective may not be quite what it seems.
This story has allowed me to check my own thoughts and reactions to situations and truly look at other potential scenarios. What you might consider a nuisance may be someone who considers you a friend. Perspective.