Here is the thing about navigation. It is planning a route. It is moving, from one place to another, successfully. Steering. Guiding. Directing.
It is what we do in every bit, of every day, of our lives. We navigate.
Most of the time, it is pretty seamless. We sit on our couches, watching reruns of Scooby Doo, and we decide we want a peanut butter and banana sandwich. So, we get up, move to the kitchen, and fix the tasty delight.
We have successfully navigated a portion of our lives. We had a want, or a need. And we completely fulfilled that need without posing detriment to any other being. Magic. And the sandwich is incredibly delicious.
But as you may have noticed, we were completely alone in that scenario.
As humans, navigation becomes increasingly difficult when you start adding in other human beings. And the more people involved, the more complicated things become. Trust me.
When more than one person is involved, there starts a balance game. Or. There should be. Now, both people have to be satisfied for that warm and fuzzy outcome.
“Where do you want to eat?”
“How about Biggie’s Pizzeria on Fifth?
“Nah. I hate Biggies. They cut in squares. What about Chinese? The Ting Tang Palace?”*
“I can’t stand Chinese food. It reminds me of worms.”**
That example is small. But navigation is necessary. Otherwise, there may be some byproducts of the situation. Like:
“Yeah, I had lunch with Stanley last Thursday, and that guy is such a freak. Finding a place he liked to eat was like pulling teeth.”
Again, small examples. Yet, this navigation thing can become multifaceted. Everyone has a different point of view. A unique perspective. This is a fact. There is the possibility that we see a situation in a similar manner as someone else. But often, we interpret situations and reactions in a singular manner. Especially when it comes to ourselves. Trust me.
Consider something Abe Lincoln once said: “Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”
Wise old Abe. Isn’t that the truth?
I can only say, that the more pliable we are, the easier it is for all involved. Often times, we “settle” for something. We work on a compromise, that will appease everyone involved.
Until the stakes are high. Until our moral bearings are being challenged. Until it comes to things like politics, or religion. Or more succinctly, when it comes to the integrity of our souls.
Then, it gets tricky.
We meet conflict. Obstruction. There’s a set of iron bars across the road. Both sides are holding a key that will open the door one way or the other. But neither side will use it. There’s no giving in. There’s no getting around it, no matter how hard we try to use our navigation skills.
I can only say this.
Because the people on the other side want what they want.
We are the same. We want, what we want.
And being hateful or meant to them isn’t going to change that, it is just going to strengthen the iron bars. It widens the obstacle.
And our navigation is thwarted.***
Our only hope is treating others with kindness. It could narrow the gap. Maybe enough for us to cross.
* I like my pizza cut in squares.
** I like Chinese food too.
*** If none of this works for you, say “thwart” three times fast, like Sylvester, the Putty Tat.
“We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”
― Whoopi Goldberg
“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.”
― Ben Sweetland
“Only those who look with the eyes of children can lose themselves in the object of their wonder. ”
― Eberhard Arnold