Birds and Lobsters
All along the east coast, across Massachusetts lives a bird like no other. The plover is a shore bird that builds its nest on the beach, except this bird is clever. Over the years, it has learned to find ways to protect its eggs and build its nest in unusual places–like lobster traps. And it’s perfect. The trap properly protects the eggs and allows shelter for the mother while she nests. But if a plover were to ask a lobster, “is this a good place to build a nest?” the lobster would freak out. “NO WAY! THAT THING IS CERTAIN DEATH. STAY AWAY!” But the plover doesn’t listen to the lobster, does it? Nor should you. We are birds living in a world of lobsters, asking the wrong people to look at our work and give us their opinion. The lobsters in our lives don’t believe what we do, don’t see the world in the same way and they make us scared and change our mind.
I did an entire project in 2010 around an article I read about Dunbar’s number. It’s a sociological theory that says we can only maintain about 150 relationships at once. And the people you have in your life now are different than they were a year ago, even moreso 5 or 10 years ago. And the best part about this theory is that these 150 people are unique to you. ONLY you have this particular combination of 150 people, which got me thinking… the people in our lives shape who we are much more than we thought. These 150 people are why I am unique, because they all affect me in different ways and I am a unique combination of their influence.
So think about the people you keep in your lives, who you spend time with and who ends up affecting you. Choose people that make you better. Stay with the birds and as much as you can, build your lifestyle without lobsters.