Delta Air Lines seats
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The Middle Seat in Society These Days…

That poor lonely middle seat aboard an airplane: no one wants to sit in it. No one sitting next to it wants anyone to sit in it. The middle seat is the orphan of sorts in which most people would rather not venture unless absolutely no other choice or option is available.

The Middle Seat in Society These Days…

Gulf Air economy seats
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

If the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic did not cause problems, it certainly uncovered existing ones and even exacerbated known issues with society in general and the travel industry is especially included — like it or not…

…and the rapid spread of that pesky and adamantly unwavering virus has arguably brought out the worst in people, the worst in business, the worst in politics — even the worst in travel — to the point where people have chosen sides; and those sides seem to be even more extreme than prior to the pandemic.

As 2020 is an election year in the United States, the stakes are high — to the point where people will do just about anything to skew the momentum towards their candidate or party of choice. The stage is already bloodied from the vicious combat between Republicans versus Democrats — you can read between the lines when I say that I “like” one party as much as the other — and yet, the highly coveted prize is still months away.

Another controversy is wearing masks and coverings for the nose and mouth versus not doing so. Each side vociferously chides the other in their righteousness…

…and back to the middle seat, which is avoided by those who staunchly prefer the aisle seat over those who sit by the window. Who gets to control the window shade? What if someone in the row needs to use the lavatory?

No middle ground seems to be possible for liberal versus conservative, wearing protective materials on the face versus not doing so, or aisle seat versus window seat. Worse is that many people demonstrate a significant lack of respect for those people who disagree or have different thoughts and ideas.


KLM Royal Dutch Airways economy class seats
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I have always felt that society in general is like a car which goes way too far to the left at times — spinning its wheels in the mud in the ditch — and then overcorrects and goes way too far to the right to do the same inefficient thing…

…and the sad part is that although a new straight road with smooth clean black asphalt is available — which would get the car to its destination and goal much faster — the driver nevertheless chooses to continue to keep zigging and zagging and tracking mud while unnecessarily creating a mess and never really getting anywhere.

As long as we continue as a society to be deeply divided without actually listening to each other, finding common ground on which to unite, and working towards resolving the issues which plague our world, we will never accomplish achieving our goals and dreams of advancing together as a species. The time is long overdue for all of us to meet in the middle seat — or, at least, the middle — and strive to continuously improve instead of needlessly battling with no productive outcome. We need to communicate with each other, collaborate as a show of strength, and compromise — while simultaneously disagreeing in a respectful matter when necessary — and not simply blindly choose sides without keeping an open mind, without questioning what does not make sense to us, and eschew discussing the points of view of each other…

…and until then, the poor lonely middle seat remains empty — for now.

Ironically, airlines which have been blocking the middle seat aboard their airplanes to promote the oxymoronic term of “social” distancing during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic are promoting it as a marketing tool.

Welcome to society these days…

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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