Trading Places

Living and loving is a process of trading places.

Being a generous driver is a process of trading places. When you’re driving down Wisconsin Avenue in a rush to get to work, at first, you’re the one speeding along. But if you see an old woman crossing the street, you’ve slowed down so that her commute is shorter. You’ve slowed down as she’s sped up. You’ve traded places.

Being a caring parent is a process of trading places. When you’re busy paying bills and doing housework, at first, you’re the one being productive. But if your fourth grade daughter approaches you with her math homework and asks for her help, you are less productive, helping her become more productive. You’ve ignored your work to help her with hers. You’ve traded places.

Being a reliable friend is a process of trading places. When you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix with a bowl of popcorn, you’re the one who’s comfortable. But if your best friend calls to talk about some relationship difficulties they’ve been having, you volunteer to go to her place and help her talk through it. You’ve chosen discomfort to help her be comfortable. You’ve traded places.

Being someone at November Project is a process of trading places. When you’re with people who are your own pace, you feel fast, like you’re getting a “better” workout, and showing off how well you’re doing. But when there’s a newbie at the workout and you choose to be partners with them, you may find that they run at a different, slower pace than you. Instead of leaving them in the dust, you stay back and get to know them. You’ve become slower so that they can feel fast a loved. You’ve traded places.

Trading places isn’t always our first choice because it can feel uncomfortable, time-limiting, or inconvenient. But trading places shows others that we love them and care about them more than ourselves. We put others first in hopes that they’ll be more available to continue that process, creating a grand cycle of trading places that reaches across communities, cities, and the world.

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