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You have purchased a ticket for a concert, one you have been looking forward to for months. You arrive at the theater, present your ticket and are told that you cannot enter – all seats are full. You protest – you have a ticket! It doesn’t matter, there simply isn’t enough room for you.

Some people would complain. Demand a conversation with the manager! Write letters to the newspaper! Tell all of their friends about the tragedy that befell them!

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Others might continue to stand outside the theater, hoping that someone might change their mind. Maybe one of the audience members will get sick, thus freeing up a seat. Or maybe someone will, out of the kindness of their heart, realize how noble you are, how desperately you want to see the concert. They will selflessly give up their seat for you. If you stand there long enough, anything is possible.

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And still others will understand that they have just been presented with an interesting challenge. You hold a ticket in your hand, which you paid for. You are prepared to watch the concert, you made time in your life to do this, and you won’t be deterred.

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And so you look for other entrances besides the front door. Maybe the delivery entrance, around back? Or you could try the exit…it’s unconventional but you have heard that some people have gained entry to the theater using that technique. 

You could pretend to be a performer giving the concert. Some people have scammed their way into the theater. The problem with this approach is that, if you are discovered, you will be kicked out and barred from ever coming back.

Or you could try this: find out who’s sitting in the theater. Contact them – politely. Ask them how they managed to find a seat inside. Find out if there’s any chance a seat will be opening up near them soon. Offer to bring them popcorn. Volunteer to guard their seat if they need to use the bathroom. Demonstrate that you’re simply interested in seeing the concert and that you’d be wiling to work hard to get there. Let them know that you realize how difficult it is to gain entry into the theater, that you understand that just because you have a ticket doesn’t mean you feel entitled.

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And as you look around at all the other ticket-holders who are complaining, or just standing there, or have given up and gone home to watch TV, realize that you are probably going to be inside that theater before too long. And that the concert will be sublime, and worth the wait.

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