The old joke goes “What do you do if you see a spaceman?”
And the >>hilarious<< answer is, of course:
“Park in it man… ”
This is, unless it’s a disabled space and you don’t qualify.
This morning I was sat having a nice organic espresso at our local store GreenWise (who are an excellent little whole-food store in Fetcham, by the way) and, as I gazed out, on to the parking spaces in front of the store I had a sense of irritation come over me…
The reason? There was a fully pimped out Lexus estate parked just in front of the store in one of only two disabled parking spaces in the village. I took one look at the car and thought “That must belong to one of the Chelsea boys”… You see, we have Chelsea FC training ground a couple of miles down the road from the village, so when you see a car worth in excess of £100,000.00, there’s a good chance that it’s one of the lads from Chelsea who is passing by.
(In fact, on a side note, when I first consulted for Chelsea back in 2005, one of my memories was the thought that struck me as I was walking down the player’s car park into the training centre, admiring all the sports cars and 4×4’s, then it dawning on me that, in the space of just a few steps, I had walked past more than £1 million pounds-worth of cars – and that by the time I reached the training centre 20 metres away, I’d walk past another 1 million pounds-worth of cars… Stupefying on more than one level!!)
So, back to the coffee shop, there I am gazing out and feeling really rather irritated at the crass behaviour of some young physically gifted footballer taking a disabled parking space – just because it was more convenient for a quick stop at the shops.
I immersed myself back in my work, a few minutes passed, and then my attention was aroused by movement outside. I looked up and there were an elderly couple – probably in their early 70’s – the woman with quite a limp heading for the driver’s door and the man moving a little better heading to the passenger side.
A smile came over my face, these guys were probably one of the last demographics I’d have expected to see driving this car – which says something about my own prejudices. I was at once grinning and amused, but also saddened to watch the way the lady was moving and the pain she was in. She wasn’t in great shape physically. I couldn’t help but wonder if the extreme functionality of the car was, in some ways, attractive to her because of the functionality she’d lost in her own body.
It struck me hard that, while as a young man… and now a young middle-aged man I still harbour aspirations to earn enough money to be able to afford a top-end car – for me it would be a TESLA of course(!) in order to keep moving toward that dream, at times, I will negate my training, my nutrition, my sleep… Yet, the cold, hard reality of the situation is that all that striving to attain a material object pales into insignificance versus a dedicated discipline to maintain a healthy and functional body. Isn’t it so easy for us to get our priorities wrong?
As I have written about elsewhere [LINK], each of us goes through a process of spatial mastery in infancy; and if we are good at it, we become sports-people. If we’re not so good at it we may become office workers. Yet gravity is acting on all of us, all of the time, and if we develop imbalances in or compromises to our spatial mastery, then this creates stress onto our bodies. The space we occupy is composed of 3 dimensions, and the experiences we have within that space occur in the 4th dimension of time. It is only with the passage of time that the body starts to break down; the more balanced it is, the slower this happens.
The lady driving the pimped out Lexus had, no doubt, experienced greater imbalance in her life than the man alongside her. Perhaps her judgement had been impaired around various lifestyle choices, yet we’re all doing the best with what we’ve got. My message and purpose is to empower people to optimally judge their space and their time so they may fully realise and express their potential.