As I sat in my wheelchair, prime positioned in the end zone, I was struck at how annoyed I was. Surrounded by layers of people, I felt trapped. This was the biggest high school football game of the year, in my opinion, and normally, I would be enjoying my front row seat, chatting it up with friends, and greeting those passing by to get to their seats in the stands. Last night was different, but insightful.
It was abnormally crowded. There were reunions. Men reliving their high school glory days and, honestly, acting as if they were still a student there. Then there were the teenagers. Clustered together as if their lives depended on it. Since I am not a fan of packs of people, it made me uncomfortable. Then there was the lone fan from the visitor’s side.
To me, the visitor’s side is designated for those from the other team. This means, go sit with those that cheer for the same team. Don’t mesh yourself with those from the home team. This leaves us unable to comment freely. This makes us have to behave and be nice. This annoys me. Now, here is where the awareness comes into play. This particular fan was delightful. She and her son were not obnoxious, boastful, or overly annoying. She meshed well with the crowd and blended with ease. We all chatted freely. We were nice.
So, do you see what I just did? This was a prime example of our society. When we are uncomfortable with some one else’s opinion, we categorize them. We want them to sit on the visitor’s side, so we don’t have to deal with them. We can blend. We can get along despite our differences. With that being said, I still dislike crowds, but this experience shifted my perception in seeing things in a whole new light.