Where you sit matters. Think Rosa Parks. It was not only that she sat in the front of the bus but that she had the nerve to sit with white people. Where she sat became an important symbol for the civil rights movement and a catalyst for change.
Although it may be deemed merely symbolic, Republicans sitting together with Democrats at the State of the Union address is something that matters to me. Maybe it is just that I like to see people working on the same team get along so that we can win the game. All I know is that the mere act of our congressional leaders sitting together brings me hope that one day they may be able to stand together as well.
The consultant, Peter Block, states that if you want to change the conversation, change the room (referring to the physical seating of the room). It will certainly be a different visual to not see half the room applauding and standing while the other half sits with folded hands. If Democrats sit with Republicans, the movement will resemble the Whac-a-Mole pop up heads in carnivals which is, at least, a far more interesting visual.
As a therapist I learned to tell clients, "act as if and you will soon become." It may be symbolic but a symbol is an important stage in the change process. In my mind, it's a good start. Maybe changing the seating chart will change the nature of political discourse and get us closer to that more perfect union. We can only hope.
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