Infrequently, we assemble in the same place at the same time to experience something together. Usually these occasions are rituals of some kind– graduations, funerals, religious services, sporting events, weddings, the fifth grade musical…It takes an event with a lot of pull to get that many people to share the same place for the same purpose.
Sometimes, at such events, when folks start to feel like things are wrapping up, they check out. They’re not experiencing the final minutes of what was planned for them because they are thinking about the traffic on the way home, calculating the number of people who will be leaving this one place at the same time to go to the parking lot, despairing of all the sitting in the car they will be doing. Sometimes this shows up so strongly that they leave before the event is over. They trudge up the aisle, keys held in their hands, ready to be the first to the parking lot.
Is that the race you want to win? Aside from the disruption it causes the other people who are there, including those up front performing/graduating/speaking, it completely alters the experience. Instead of being there, present for something from beginning to end, the early leaver is always planning their exit.