Thursday, August 12, 2004

Personal Space

We all have something we consider personal space.

It is not just that immediate physical space of about three feet beyond which you don’t feel comfortable allowing strangers to encroach, such as when someone stands talking too close to your face -- you might call it the personal bubble -- but the greater living space that you consider home.

It’s your home turf, your haven, your refuge. The place that you occupy and organize according to your own needs, and the place you can lounge around in, relax, dream, be yourself, be safe.

It is also the place you clean, maintain to a certain level of personal comfort. And it is the place for which you are responsible and of which you are proud. (Now, if you don’t bother to take care of your surroundings, or don't feel that you have such a place, it simply means that you still haven't discovered your true home, and you are still life's wanderer. But don’t worry, your time of homecoming will come, as it inevitably does for all of us.)

So, what exactly is home, this personal space?

For some of us, it is just our room. For others, it is our whole house, even our whole property with its yard.

For others, it’s the block on which they live, or maybe even the whole street.

Maybe, for yet some lucky others, it’s the whole neighborhood, and even the whole community. And for yet others, it extends even beyond to city level, and then state and country level.

Then there are some of us who take it even further, and extend the sense of personal space to the whole continent, and just maybe, the whole surface of this living planet.

And why stop there? For some, personal space reaches out on the wings of thought into the solar system, and then our Milky Way galaxy, and then our… universe.

Now, considering the fluid extent of all this personal space, how can you and I stand to litter?

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