Monday, 10 October 2016

Thought Picnic: Playing the lottery of the commons

Irritating questioning
At a recreational place last weekend, when taking a break in the lounge, I got engaged in a conversation through an app as to my whereabouts and so on.
As it transpired, my inquisitor on learning of where I was, then enquired as to whether the place was busy and on my response was ambivalent about coming or not. In the process, the many questions included fickle stratifying elements on age, looks, interests and prospects, the whole exchange began to have an irritating quality to it.
Then I suggested that if everyone waited for a venue to have a perfect crowd to meet all requirements and considerations, no venue would have patrons. Essentially, everyone by their own agency has to decide to attend a place for it to become lively.
Our part in the commons
We are as individuals contributors and consumers of the buzz any venue generates, whether it then becomes an enjoyable experience is not one guaranteed. We anticipate and hope that the atmosphere would gel with us and from it might come memorable pleasures.
The common good that is a reason of a common purpose driven by an individual desire expects that we participate and engage without selfishly taking out of the system when we have contributed nothing.
For every venue, there is always a first arrival and there is the last, in between, there might be leavers, but for the duration in which the venue is actively receiving patrons, one can expect that the atmosphere would probably build up, climax and then begin to fade as people leave.
It is about people of which you are one
It takes people to give a place life, in a recreational centre, in a club, in a restaurant, at a concert, in a stadium, in a place of worship or anywhere people congregate out of free agency in the quest for an experience.
Yet, we find people who rely on the initiative of others to fulfil their narrow pursuit of happiness. This concept does not just apply to attending places, there is a common good in areas where people have the awareness of others, those who walk the pavements, their attention and eyes glued to their mobile phones oblivious of others inadvertently expect others to be cognisant of their presence. Now, if we all buried our heads in my devices, we would all be bumping into each other on the pavements.
Freedom and consideration
The same applies to those who litter the public spaces, if we all did that rather than use the refuse bins, our public spaces would not only be unsightly, but unusable too.
Your freedom, much as it is cherished and defended must not encroach on the freedom of others, your temple loudspeakers causing noise pollution towards non-adherents of your beliefs, but put upon by your devotion is antithetical to engendering a community spirit, just as those leaving places of entertainment must be aware of the neighbourhood not to cause an unnecessary disturbance.
In the quest for personal freedom and pleasure, our community relies on the consideration of the majority including ourselves to be aware of the other and act responsibly, without this, we exhibit anti-social tendencies and lead our societies towards chaos and disorder.
Get in to get something out
Part of what makes the ambience is what we bring to it in our presence and our engagement, though many have missed out on that experience because they expect a readymade joy ride and cannot convince themselves of the fact that participation is integral to the scheme of things.
It is like a lottery, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but one thing is for sure, you have to participate in the lottery for you to ever have the prospect of winning. If you are not playing, there is no chance of winning.
Get out and play, you might just find what you are looking for.


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