Fear of Attack and Fear of Failure

the ideology of a map

read Barton&Barton "The Ideology of the Map"

My usual introduction to a new customer that approaches my cashier counter runs something like:

“Hi! Did you find everything you need? Have you shopped with us before? No?  Well then, I am going to create an account for you in our system, which will save all of your receipts for future reference.”

Today, a dad replied that he did not want an account at all—no name, no number, and most certainly no shipping address.  He didn’t want spam and mailings and courtesy calls and all the other infringing crap that corporate (and not-so-corporate) companies thrust down the innocent throats of the consuming public.  I don’t blame him.

But alongside another parent who gravitated toward our e-mail list sign up sheet and instantly provided name, phone, email, and school of attendance, this dad suddenly represented a totally difference approach to life.  There were two paradigms at my counter: fear of attack and fear of failure.

One parent didn’t want to fend off the aggression of civilization.  Another parent didn’t want to miss the opportunity to participate in any way with the ins and outs of said civilization.  One was afraid that he couldn’t protect himself.  One was afraid that he would be sheltered from something beneficial.  Two outlooks.  Two different ways of approach a world that demands out attention and can punish us either way–for hedging ourselves in too securely or volunteering our involvement too freely.

I fall into the second category–volunteering too freely.  Especially as a newly graduated liberal arts student, I forget that I should get paid to do what I do.  I forget that it is illegal for my boss to pay me less than the IRS cents/mile ratio when I travel.  I forget that not everyone I give my business card to should know my street address, where I sleep at night.

Navigating the world is tricky.  And there really are people that choose different tactics than me.  And I should make space for them–like I hope they would make space for me.

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