Maybe it’s happened to you that being in line at the grocery store, from one side someone comes up to you so close that you can almost feel them. Since it makes you feel uncomfortable, almost immediately and by reflection, you try to take one more step towards the cash register. This happens because we all have, naturally, the need for a basic space, which makes us react when we feel invaded. You can test in a variety of situations, by observing or acting, and you will see that individuals will try to preserve their living space instinctively, whenever they can. That is: A will move away from the unknown B, if he invades his living space.
On balance, even a desk can become a territory. Imagine you’re watching an interview between two pairs of people (A and B), both on either side of the desk, sitting in chairs. Being A with his elbows on the desk, B will normally remain with his back resting on the back of his chair. Now, if you have a change of posture and B goes to rest his elbows on the desk, it is normal for A to move back and rest his back on the back of his chair. These are bodily gestures, derived from the principle of territoriality and which, in part, the proxemics studies.
It’s easy to understand the importance of territory. And it should be easy, then, to understand that just as it is important for us to have a territory, just as it is important for our family to have a territory, so it is important and fundamental for any person and/or their family to have a territory. If we go from family to nation – remembering that we may possibly belong to one – it should be easy to understand how important and necessary it is for any nation to have a territory. Thus, it should be easy to understand how harmful it is for them to invade our territory, whether is individual, family, or national.
But the territory is not just a “space”, it does not end with the spatial. Just as “work is not a place”, so the territory is not limited only to space. There is another factor that also counts as territory, and that factor is precisely the most precious one we have, given our human condition: time. If a car blocks our garage door, it invades our space territory, but if it also makes us late for work, it also invades our time territory. Here, what is unbearable is the people who are invading territories without even realizing it.
This is why, just as you defend your garden or the courtyard of your house and do not let anyone invade it, you must never allow anyone to invade your time, because it is a territory that you must defend and teach to respect, with your example in front of you. Consider that, unlike a few square metres that you can dispute with a neighbour, time cannot be recovered and, as some people are not going to be changed, it is better to avoid those for whom “time as territory” would be like “the unknown dimension”.