Twice in as many weeks I have heard people comment on the standoff that occurs on sidewalks everywhere across the country. Imagine it: you are walking on the sidewalk and someone is walking towards you, and you are both in the middle.
Do you move out of their way, or do they move out of yours?
There is a common conception that people feel like they are always the ones to move. The comments that I have heard is that people experience this as a display of power. That not moving is a sign,
I am more powerful than you.
This standoff is perceived as a power play, and if you move then you are losing. But is that true? Are people on the sidewalks really power walking?
Indefinitely there are a few people out there who treat this confrontation on the sidewalk as a display of power, best of luck to them. My bet though is that most of the people aren't power walking, they are sleep walking.
Yep. Sleep walking.
They are caught up in their story lines. They are habitually driven between point A and point B. They are not aware of the world around them and they have no concern for the people around them. They are checking their phones, their senses closed off behind headphones and just trying to make it in their microcosm.
What about you though?
You're a mover. You are alert and aware. You notice the people around you, adapt to a change in their stride. You're present.
By moving you lose nothing. You're not giving anything up. This sidewalk, it's not yours. You are being polite, respectful. You are making a choice and standing up (or moving aside) for what you want to see in the world.
You can walk with confidence and compassion, which feels like dancing on the sidewalks.
No one will even notice, but you are being the change you wish to see in the world.
So next time you are out walking and are conscious enough to be aware of the people around you, make a decision: Do you move or stand your line?
Ask yourself why? What are you trying to assert? What are you trying to defend?
Who is making this about a power play? What if you are establishing a power play against someone who is sleep walking?
Maybe you are still learning what it means to be awake and this person, they are your teacher.