When I was in officer training school, we had an educational day in which we could choose from any number of lessons and lectures to attend. I chose to attend a lesson on body language. Body language is fascinating in my opinion. The number of subconscious messages we are sending out at all times is infinite. As part of the lecture, the expert who came to teach us asked for a volunteer. A girl went up, and automatically checked that her shirt was tucked in and the rubber bands holding her pants above her boots were in tact. This is the first sign of discomfort in front of a crowd. When she was done rearranging herself in order to be presentable in front of the class, the lecturer asked her to stand with her feet together, hands at her sides, and to close her eyes. What happened next was pretty incredible. Automatically, her body started moving in circular motions. It was as if she was creating an imaginary circle in the sand that no one could come into. She was creating a circle of personal space. Because her eyes were closed, she had no physical way of knowing if someone was breaching her personal space, so her body automatically compensated by creating a personal circle that no one could cross. Man is programmed to guard his personal space, his circle in the sand.
I see this every day on the bus. Everyone tries to grab a seat or a handle that will keep him as far away as possible from his fellow passenger. No one makes eye contact unless it is completely necessary, and everyone sits with either arms, legs, or both crossed, body language which symbolizes being closed off and uninterested in human contact of any kind. I am guilty of this, too, on most days. However, there are those times when I cannot help but make conversation. I find people to be fascinating. Everyone is different. Everyone is headed somewhere. Everyone has a story. And for the most part, when I start a conversation, even the coldest of people suddenly become warm, because someone is interested. Personal space has been breached, but it's a positive breach. It's the kind of breach that widens the circle in the sand. As soon as we widen that circle, we open ourselves up to new people, new experiences, and the possibility of shared joy, which is really the best kind of joy.
So what am I saying here? Widen the circle in the sand, let someone in. Heck, make a Venn diagram with the circle of the person next to you. Reach out, because you really never know you'll come across.