I was parking at the local coffee shop this morning and was faced again for the millionth time with my spatial dyslexia, the not quite utter inability of my brain to understand my place in space. I’m certainly not the only one who lives the struggles of left/right, up/down, near/far, east/west. The constant challenge with proximity, the bumps and collisions. It’s just not intuitive (I presume this is a congenital thing, though I suppose it could be something just unlearned thing, but that’s not our focus at the moment, and probably never will be).
So parking is hard and not fun. Obviously, I do manage to park. Or cope might be a better word. I cope by choosing the not challenging place to park, however far away it might be. At times when I have to park in a challenging space, it requires extra special concentration. It’s hard. But I do still live in the physical world and so will keep on compensating and coping. There is really no option.
So you imagine that parking is not the only spatial challenge in my world but it is a good example of the struggle, the existence of a weakness.
One if the key points here is that no one really cares about my spatial dyslexia, though there are clearly people who notice the inability to decipher right from left or my proclivity for bashing my head.
But I’m aware. I’ve learned to view it as a weakness. And since no one really cares, it’s obviously an internalized perception. But where did that attitude come from? Why do I even care? (Not that I lie awake contemplating it, but it does bubble up sometimes when I have to park, obviously I otherwise wouldn’t be writing about it).
But again why do I care about this weakness? And why is this even a worthy topic? Because it applies to all the weakness we think we have and the prevalent western societal belief that your weaknesses need to be addressed and if you compensate for that weakness you are somehow lacking. We’ll talk about that a bit more in a moment.
The impetus for all of this was that today when I went to park I knew I would compensate and decided I just didn’t a give a shit. Which seems like a such a small thing but for some reason today the decision to not give a shit reverberated as an attitude about weaknesses in general. I would look at life as growth and let that take me where I will, and if weaknesses were addressed or not along the line then so be it.
I sensed a gateway to shedding feelings of inadequacy that western society likes to place on you because it is forever in need of measuring you and secretly (or not so secretly) reveling when you are found wanting.
I have begun to see how pervasive this culture of inadequacy is in Western society. It permeates us with perpetual competitiveness and comparison. It has warped the idea of survival from survival from your enemies and the forces of nature into competition against those within your own society. This isn’t communal survival, this is societal cannibalism. Eat your own. We are so filled with feelings of inadequacy we will do anything to get rid of them, which is often achieved by feeling or becoming less inadequate than the next guy by some competitive measurement. We tear each other down. How wonderful.
Oh boy. Got a little off track there. But certainly a disturbing thought. I certainly don’t have an answer and clearly still struggle with the whole mess myself. But I’ll start down the path of extricating myself from this societal cannibalism by not caring how I park.