The story goes something like this. Every time a new tap dancer came to town, all the locals cats would buy tickets to the show and sit in the front row. If any of them saw the newbie perform one of their steps, they would begin to heckle. They had to protect their work, after all.
Tap dancer Eddie Brown, having coined the term “Scientific Rhythm” for his approach to tap dancing, was recorded as saying this:
“If anyone wants this, they have to come through me.”
There seems to be something innately territorial about our nature, especially if we are operating under pressure. I’ve experienced it both in the market and personally. In the market mechanisms like copyright and trademark exist to try to protect people’s work (their territory) from infringement. Personally, our physical environment and social support systems are meant to be that protection.
But we will always bump into people. There is almost no way to navigate life without it. Some of us try to avoid these bumps, while some of us seem to make a point of initiating them. So what happens when we bump into people? Do we protect ourselves like a mama bear protecting their own cubs? Do we try to negotiate or navigate the situation? Do we just shrink in the face of confrontation?
There doesn’t seem to be a single right answer. Most navigation depends on the context (who’s involved, what’s the culture, are you in the market or is this personal, etc.). But not everything here is relative. So much informs the way we navigate our bumps. Our needs, desires, triggers and past experiences, all play a role. But, ideally, our responses to bumps would be framed by our values, the way we want to show up in relationship with others, and the kinds of relationships we ultimately wanted to build in this world.
Something to think about.