Saturday, January 15, 2011

Beyond our comfort zones

When money is tight, we tend to become very aware of how others make and spend money.  Take this phone, for example, which sat on a mahogany table across from the 6th floor elevator at our hotel last weekend.

What, you have to wonder, would ever make a person think, "Gee, I bet if I made a crystal phone, I bet people would buy it!"  I just can't imagine thinking that -- or, less still, buying one.  But then, I don't live in a world populated and decorated with mahogany, crystal and mirrors.

Would I buy a phone made of iridescent raku pottery, or wood?  I might -- or I'd at least be more likely to buy that than crystal.  Which is yet another example of the way what we see is colored by what we know.

Which means, I think, that if we are ever to understand other people's thoughts and decisions, we have to be willing to step out of our comfort zones; to explore unfamiliar territory, and expose ourselves  to other ways of seeing, being, and believing.  And, in the process, we probably need to leave our judging voice behind -- you know, the one that says, "OMG, that's so tacky!" or "What was she THINKING?" or even "You have GOT to be KIDDING me."

Somehow we have to learn to trust that others who make decisions different from our own are not stupid or misinformed; that they may be operating out of a different awareness, different knowledge, a different set of parameters...  And if the resulting decisions actually offend you -- well, you might need to ask what's really going on inside you; who is it in you that's offended; why is your reaction so intense, and what does it say about what's going on elsewhere in your life.

Having said all that -- well, I still wouldn't buy this crystal phone: it just wouldn't fit in my house.  But I had fun photographing it, and it actually added a lot of charm to that table in the hotel.  I have to admire the people who decided to create it and knew where to market it (though I have no clue what they must have had to charge for it).  And I love that it actually works: How cool is that!


Maureen said...

The phone looks a bit like a crystal decanter or an unusual perfume bottle, at least in the picture. It probably gets quite a few comments and I'd guess it is something that those who visit the hotel don't forget. It makes me wonder: is it heavy, can its insides be seen, is it one-of-a-kind, what happened the first time it was dropped?

Joyce Wycoff said...

Isn't diversity a wonderful thing. Things like that crystal phone, which I, too, would never thought of, always remind me of what a small sliver of the world lives in my brain.

Joyce Wycoff said...

BTW ... the Anne Porter poem is stunning. I feel like I need to read it out loud every morning.