I find airports surprisingly relaxing.

The highly-managed nanny environment means I will always be shepherded to the right place at the right time without much active effort on my part.

An airport is an environment designed (necessarily) to breed complacency and compliance. An airport is not the place to stand-out as a radical!

Likewise cultural systems can be designed to induce compliance and passivity. Nanny states and religions come to mind – we will look after your wellbeing, just shut up, stop questioning and follow the rules.

Many corporations or societies can provide the advantage of freeing their denizens from having to worry about the day-to-day stuff like trains running on time, safe sidewalks, social security, established best practices, cleaning and maintenance and so on.

Taken too far however, the very same conveniences can induce a compliance coma, where little radically few new thoughts were possible. Where serving the system, maintaining the status quo, takes greater priority than thinking new thoughts.

Perhaps the answer lies in consciously and regularly shifting the boundary between “established rules” and “vague new possibilities”. Rules are made to be broken after all?!

I also like airports for their atmosphere of transience. The sense of moving ever onwards to new possibilities away from comfort cocoons and old wounds, or the return (prodigal or otherwise) to home…