IT ALL BEGAN WITH A SLICE OF CHEESE!
This is what inspired this piece (or slice) of reality observation!
More on that in a moment.
But let me first share a quick story which began to open my eyes to just how much many people on this planet are living within a scripted or robotic reality.
Some years ago I sat on the board of directors of a prominent women’s business organization. Comprised of a powerhouse of intelligent, professional business savvy women (and men) this was, and I’m sure still is, a community of go-getters and change makers in their chosen fields.
One women whom I had gotten to know through our quarterly meetings, I found to be quite chatty and friendly. During one of our post meeting chats, we discovered we lived in the same town, of which she and her family had recently moved.
Several weeks later we had attended a spring church service just a short drive from our home. After the service had ended, as we were exiting the church, I noticed this woman. Eager to say hello and welcome her to the area, I shuffled passed several people to make my way over to her.
But when I did, expecting of course to receive her usual warm smile and pleasant demeanor, I got a rather blank look as if to say, “Do I know you?”
Shocked of course at her response to someone who had just shared several lengthy conversations, sitting side-by-side at our board meetings, I was understandably perplexed. To say the moment was awkward was an understatement, however I quickly reminded her of who I was and our connection, and with a sense of slight embarrassment on her part, she then looked at me and said:
“So sorry this was out of context. I guess I didn’t expect to see you here.”
In an article, simply entitled, Behaving in Context, this one line spoke volumes to me – “…our ‘behavior happens in context.’ We react to most situations without much thought about what we are doing.”
There is little doubt in my mind that society has all but completely submit to a cultural syllabus that puts process, protocol, and scripted scenarios in first position. This behavioral pattern is adhered to, whether it be in the workplace, in the boardroom, at church, or at home.
Here’s yet another stunning and all too familiar example of how so many dare not live out of context.
Whenever I call in for phone support, whether for a product, service, or billing question, invariably the individual (when we’re lucky enough to manage a human voice on the other end of the phone) will begin with a greeting/script, often followed by their name. “Hi this is Kevin. How can I be of assistance today?”
Immediately I will return the greeting by saying, “Hello Kevin. How are you?”
After an uncomfortable few seconds, I’ll repeat my hello in hopes that they will snap into the reality that someone has genuinely asked about them. Eventually, the scripted voice will manage to break protocol and say “Fine thank you.”
Out of context!
This tethering to scripts has gained exponential ground in our modern society. So-much-so, that some of the simplest of tasks, if they are not served up as part of the scripted reality we so embrace, will become an arduous endeavor, moreover, in many cases, the task just won’t compute.
And this brings me to the cheese!
One morning while my husband and I were enjoying a weekend away, we were ordering breakfast at the hotel in which we were staying. Along with my breakfast, I asked if I could have a simple slice of cheese on the side. An initial blank stare was quickly followed by, “Do you mean you’d like it melted on your breakfast potatoes or toast?”
“No,” I said. “Just a slice of cheddar cheese on the side.” When she eventually understood my request, she then asked the cook to add a slice of cheese to my breakfast order. When she finally emerged with our food, she proceeded to tell me how difficult it was to convey to the cook what I had requested, and he too just couldn’t understand what I was talking about!
“You mean melted? On the bread? I don’t understand what she wants.”
A piece of cheese on the plate!
There is little doubt that people, more and more are becoming habituated toward a robotic reality; a life lived in context. And by all appearances, in context they will stay. Is it comfortable? Is it convenient? Or are we living in a pre-ordered, pre-packaged matrix, where all we have to do is follow the script?
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to continue to create my own menu. Besides, it’s far more appetizing than a pre-made meal without the cheese!
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Alexis Brooks is an award-winning broadcast journalist, #1 best-selling author of Conscious Musings – Contemplations to Transform Life and Realize Potential and is the host of the popular Higher Journeys Radio program, presented in association with Conscious Life News. Visit Alexis on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!