Where do you draw your circle? (Round 2)

Drafting my team


If it wasn’t apparent with the “Your Grace” reference, Game of Thrones was one of the inspirations for this poem. There’s a scene when peace-seeking Tyrion pleads with his vindictive sister, Queen Cersei:

I know you don't care about your people. Why should you? They hate you. You hate them. But you're not a monster. I know this. I know this because I've seen it. You've always loved your children. More than yourself. More than Jamie. More than anything. I beg you. If not for yourself, then for your child.

Tyrion recognizes that, despite Cersei’s horrific acts against her own people, she still holds some capacity to love. Even though darkness rules her heart, there’s still an ember of love, flickering for her children. He's appealing to this part of her, however small. He knows that Cersei would do anything to protect her children & elevate their lives, even if it meant sacrificing the citizens she’s sworn to protect. Simply put, Cersei draws her circle at her kids.

Where do you draw your circle?

I’ve found it useful to be aware of where I’m drawing mine. Without intentionally drawing it, I’ve found that I’m susceptible to default to exclusion & indifference, rather than inclusion & acceptance.

When I’m driving in traffic, do I care about the other commuters or am I ok to cut them off? Would I act differently towards the car next to me if my mom was driving it?

When I’m at the coffee shop, do I actually care about how the barista's day is going? Is giving her the time of day actually worth my time?

When I’m selling my car, do I have the license to be an ***hole to the sales manager because I don’t personally know him?

When I’m skiing down the mountain, do I stop for the guy who just had a full yard sale? Do I gather his gear that’s exploded everywhere? Or do I only help him if he’s one of my friends?

Granted, the relevant circle to reference changes in each situation. I might draw a different circle for “paying for college” versus “meeting with kindness", yet the decision of how I interact with other people will inevitably be made, whether I do so consciously or unconsciously.

Also, this decision is just a moment-in-time. The circle I draw isn’t forever fixed. I’ve witnessed myself be a Good Samaritan in one instance and a narcissist in the next. As much as I’d love consistency in identity, my drawing is more fluid than I’d like to admit.

This isn't middle school art class. We won't get a graded for drawing our circle "right" or "wrong." There is no right answer.

I only mean to propose that it's useful to know your answer to the question of, “Who’s on my team?”

One of the greatest basketball teams of all-time, The East High School Varsity squad, issued their proclamation when they sang (and danced):

We’re all in this together!

Whether I buy in to Troy Bolton's ballad, square with Cersei's circle, or define mine as somewhere in between, ultimately, I'll be deciding in any given situation... who’s the “we” to me?

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