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The Hula Hoop
In about eleven months Wham-O in California sold 20,000,000 plastic hoops; then the craze died down.
Hula Hoops are still sold today, and are marketed more as exercise devices.
My interest is not the physical object, however.
When it comes to relationships, the hula hoop is a helpful word picture.
Here is the idea.
It’s very simple.
You stay in your hula hoop and I stay in mine.
The possibility of spinning the hoop around anyone’s waist stops when someone else, no matter how good they might be at working this toy, gets between the individual and their hoop.
It’s also called boundaries.
You have your life and I have mine. But let me quickly point out that these are plastic hoops, and even more accurately, the idea of plastic hoops. These are not brick walls. They don’t interfere with conversation, and the possibility of intimacy. We can talk and spin hoops (theoretically) at the same time.
The closer two lives intersect, the more important this idea becomes. I don’t care about someone in another city or country (a stranger) spinning their hoop, I care very much about the one closest to me and how we are going to be able to operate our hoops cooperatively.