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Front Row Seating

My cousin sent a very poignant email recently. It was something she had received a long time ago, but she thought it was worth revisiting. The basic gist of the email was our life is a theatre and everyone does not deserve a front row seat.

If you visualize an actual theatre, and put yourself onstage, you want the front row filled with the people that you know love and support you. When you look out into your audience, the first faces you see should be the smiling faces of your biggest supporters. Those people that give you supportive glances and cheer you on at all costs deserve a front row seat. Those eye rolling haters need to be relocated!

Sometimes we get so caught up in the “hook up” mentality, that we forget everybody doesn’t deserve to be front and center. I hate watching award shows and seeing the rappers bring their ENTIRE CREW on stage, or talk about how they “keep it real” by surrounding themselves with the homies. Most of us grimace because we know better….or do we????? How many relationships do we hold on to simply because we feel obligated? Aren’t we basically doing the same thing? Sure, there is no Grammy being exchanged, and People Magazine isn’t there taking the picture, but if we are subjecting ourselves to the negative energy of some old friends or family members do we really know better? Why give someone such a prime seat in your life if their presence only brings you down? Granted they may have tenure, but that does not automatically entitle them to be in your front row.

Some people should be on the Mezzanine or Balcony level because their negative energy will only bring you down. Knowing someone since you were five does not automatically get them into the front row. We need to recognize that we can’t totally cut ourselves off from some of the negative people in our lives, but we can minimize their impact on our performance. Not putting someone in the front row doesn’t mean we love them any less; it just means we love them from a distance.

On this stage that is my life, I will reserve the front row seats for the people that inspire and uplift. I will put the voices of negativity in the balcony, and save the mezzanine for those that drain or discourage. I will put the people I WANT to be close to in my front row, and the people that I want to love from a distance can simply sit someplace else.

This logic works both ways. While we are busy booting people out of the front row, maybe there is someone that deserves an upgrade. Has someone you may have unknowingly relegated to the balcony caught your attention because they always seem to cheer louder than those in the coveted front row?

Take a minute to think about your theatre. Is your seating arrangement one that benefits you, or have you stacked it to your own detriment? Do you have all the right people in the front row, or is it time to open up that mezzanine/balcony and shuffle some people around?



February 14, 2008 - Posted by | Family, Friendship, Life


  1. Wow! I guess I need to re-evaluate my seating chart. Thanks jerzeechick!

    Comment by divastyles | February 14, 2008

  2. That is very interesting.

    Comment by MistaBe | February 14, 2008

  3. This blog futher confirms a recent conversation I was having with a friend. Basically, longevity doesn’t entitle you to anything. Regardingless if you’re a considered a friend or family member what we have is a relationship– which must be cultured by all participants in an uplifting and supporting way. Otherwise, I refuse to take on unwanted/unnecessary STRESS!

    Comment by Irving on the Crest | February 14, 2008

  4. I remember receiving that email years ago, while living in ATL. I’ve changed my address book every year b/c of this. I have even passed on to many of my employee’s as they have come & go. Definitely something to constantly re-visit from time to time….

    Comment by JerzeeCook | February 14, 2008

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