How I See: Context

Context is everything to me.
People that know me personally will laugh out loud at this as I love chaos and passion, sometimes confused with drama and reckless abandon.    I need context and structure.  I need routine guideposts in my life that I can count on to get through my day.

I see in context, I use the context of the location of the activity.   So within a context I will create structures like memory maps that will help me to navigate and function at that location doing that activity. This is part of the process that allows me to function at a visual acuity of 20/30 opposed to my physical visual acuity of 20/200.

Context is created by experience doing something more than once.   The first time I do something or go somewhere is generally very awkward.   There are many times where essentially I am totally blind until I build context. If I have no context or similar experience I have to build it.    Building context is a lot of work.    Generally I map the environment I learn where to go to get things and where to go to do things.   Where are the gotchas where are the potential places to get hurt.   Where are things and do they move.   How does the light work.  What are the colors.  What are the signposts within the context that will guide me. Its classic if you need a bathroom ask me, I know where they are one of the first things I map.

I love eating who doesn’t right.   When I go to a new restaurant it’s a lot of work to figure out the style of menu and the details on the menu.    When I go to a restaurant the I will generally have the same thing over and over again.    In essence a restaurant turns into a one dish wonder for me.    If I had something else it would change the context for me.

The nice thing with context is that it can be applied to new situations.    For instance I used to travel about 90% for work.   It’s amazing how similar hotels airports taxi’s and offices are in each city.   There are very few surprises.    So the learning’s I have from one city or context can be applied to the next one.

Context for me is many things.   It’s a routine, so when I go to work I go get coffee and then go to the office.   Its memory maps, of the routes I travel and the details of those routes that keep me safe.   It’s the timings, I hate to say it I do have a clock I run on when I get up when I go to work when I go to bed.    It’s the things I do, the activities at that location that I participate in.    It’s the people at that location.   Major downside if I know you in one context its very unlikely I will know you any other context.    It’s the context at that location.   It’s the smells tastes experiences I expect at that location.  The sad thing is if I know you at work and see you at the mall. I will remember that I know you but I will not remember your name and very likely I will walk right by you as I will not have seen you. Even if at work I know you very well.

In a way it’s like a set of best practices for me when I run my life.   When you are delivering a service at work you have a structure on how you do it.   Well I have a structure to how I live my life.    It gives me comfort and allows me to function independently.

The trick is managing exceptions, the out of band experiences.   This is where magic happens.

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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