Several years ago, Dustin and I bought two brown recliners. At the time, they were super comfortable, roomy and the perfect chair to sit in while binge watching your favorite show.
After awhile, the "no eating on the new chairs" and "don't let the dogs on the chairs" rules relaxed. Then we added a few kids to the mix. Combined with a handful of moves, over time the chairs began to look....less than perfect.
We eventually sold one of the chairs, but the remaining kept getting less and less cool.
I would spot clean it. And sometimes I convinced Dustin to deep clean it. But, for the most part, it looked like crap. And, it started to break, which added to the already pathetic-ness of it all.
But, we didn't get rid of it. It was like we took pity on it or something.
But, a few months ago, we finally decided the time had come and we took the chair to the dump. We rearranged our remaining furniture and added pictures and decor to the walls. In a matter of minutes, the room had a completely different feel to it. It was like a brand new room. Over the next few days, I would admire the room and wonder why in the world we put up with that ugly brown chair for so long. It was broken, dirty and made the whole room feel blah.
Unfortunately, I know the reason why we put off getting rid of it. It's a pathetic reason, but it's true: it took effort. Plain and simple. And since it took effort that was beyond our usual day to day routine, we dealt with it despite it's negative consequences.
Now for those of you who may be wondering why I consider having a brown chair in my house a negative consequence, you have to understand that I am a HUGE believer in the power of furniture placement. When I say the room felt better, I mean that literally. I don't say literally when I should say figuratively. I mean literally literally. Rooms have feelings. I promise. :)
One of the great things about humans is our ability to resist in tough times. When I hear stories of people who have survived hardships, I'm in awe.
However, that same spirit of resistance can lead to complacency. We're prone to live with "whatever" just "because." Maybe we see something within our community we think could be improved. We think one voice won't make a difference, so we deal with it rather than speaking up.
When my daughter first started kindergarten, I noticed a particularly busy intersection by the school that would really benefit from a protected left light. After mulling over it for awhile, I finally decided to e-mail a city official. To my surprise, I received a response and was told the city wasn't in charge of this street, but that they would relay my concerns to the company in charge.
In the meantime, I found a new route to school thinking my efforts had been in vain.
Months later, I found myself at that same intersection and noticed my suggestion had come to life! I was so surprised and happy. Sure, there's a REALLY good chance my suggestion had nothing to do with the change, but it felt good to know I had at least said something.
Last year, as I was going through my day planner, I noticed on September 11th, there wasn't any mention about it being Patriot Day. September 11th of that year also happened to be Grandparents' Day. I knew this because the company that made my day planner had the date labeled.
I figured, if you can mention that it is Grandparents' Day, you can certainly mention that it's Patriot Day.
So, I logged on to Twitter and tweeted the following:
When I got my new day planner for 2017, I checked the month of September and was pleasantly surprised that the 11th had been appropriately honored.
Again, I really don't have any proof that my tweet made any difference at all.
But, I also don't have any proof that it didn't.
To me, the important thing was that I saw something that I thought could be improved, and I said something. To me, the effort, the action is what matters more than the actual result.
Of course, there are plenty of examples of people who take this idea to the extreme, and raising your voice should never result in harm. #disclaimer
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that we don't always have to conform or get used to the way things are. Because the way things are isn't necessarily the way things should be.
If you don't have to live with a dirty, brown chair...don't.