It’s funny how personal space is such a huge deal to us as human beings. From the billionaire claiming his castle to the toddler hiding his toys from the curious passer-by, to the homeless guy on the street standing guard over his turf, we all fill some role of entitlement within each stage of our life. We also feel entitled to our space, or what I like to call, our personal “bubble.” Protecting out personal bubble may be the most important of all, yet I find that different people have different concepts of space in relation to the personal bubble.
I am a key example of the I-need-my-space-please-don’t-touch-me-no-not-even-a-hug-is-okay kind of girl. It’s not that I do not like people, and I’m not crazy germaphobe, like the guy on the TV show Monk, I just happen to have a very Large personal bubble, and I get very uncomfortable when people encroach upon my space. So much do I value my space, that in high school, all of the guys (who were the a little too huggy, touchy, let’s see how many girls we can make out with our senior year sorts) teased me about my bubble. Virtually the whole male population at my school knew not to try anything with Katie Minchew because she has a bubble. Actually, I was pretty proud of my bubble.
http://www.worsleyschool.net/socialarts/personal/space.html has a cool website about personal space, and even a neat way to measure the size of your own “bubble” if you want to test it out!
Anyhow, there is that type of person who has a very large bubble, like myself, and then there is the type who are very HI!, I-don’t-know-you-but-come-here-and-give-me-a-hug sorts, who are very friendly and lovable, but quite frightening at first to the big bubbled people. And of course, I admit that I am leaving out all the medium sized bubbled people, but my point is, everyone has a different concept of how much space is theirs.
You may be wondering, “why does she keep italicizing all of the personal pronouns like, his and my?” The reason is, I find it funny that we entitle ourselves to our space when, in reality, all space belongs to the one and only God in Heaven. I’m not saying that I think it is wrong to have a personal space bubble, but I am more chuckling at the concept that we attempt to own our space. As many of you probably agree, everything belongs to our Creator. Why do we entitle ourselves to own things, spaces, and properties? My boss at the nonprofit organization, Seeds of Hope Publishers, in Waco, TX is Franciscan and is constantly saying that no matter who you are, “if you aren’t careful, your possessions will begin owning you instead of you owning your possessions.”
Granted, the Franciscan lifestyle is not for everyone, certainly not for me, but in considering her saying, where should we, as humans, draw the line in ownership? Can having a personal bubble become a possession? The concept seems a little outrageous but as usual, it’s just food for thought!