Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thinking outside the box

I have heard it said "That it is not what you don't know than can hurt you... It's what you DO know that just isn't so ! " More often than not, I have been forced to eat a piece of humble pie when I take the initiative to venture off in areas where I think I have confidence and skill. Lately, I must say that I pride myself on the quick and efficient way I can break down cardboard boxes. I think that If I were pitted against someone as to who would be the fastest to break down ten, average-sized cardboard boxes into a flat pile, I would win. This month I had to correct someone who was a teacher as to how I would like these empty boxes passed on to me, so that I could break them down correctly. This teacher brings students who want to gain community service hours in order to graduate from high school to a Food Distribution site every third Tuesday of the month. It is here that I confronted the teacher when he took his box cutter out, to slice upon boxes of canned fruit for the students to place inside pre-arranged paper sacks to be distributed.

It was just playing out all wrong. After slicing open the boxes, he would hand me the part that he cut out on the top, and then the empty boxes were handed to me to be broken down by the students after all the canned fruit was placed in the bags.This little gesture forced all the boxes to come apart in several separate pieces that did not stack well. After I told him how to open the boxes correctly without a box cutter, he just ignored me. He explained that it was an easier way for the students to get the cans out of the boxes. A long shot of an explanation if I had ever heard one. I demonstrated that all he had to do was pull the flaps on the end open, pull one can out, and the rest would come out easily. Again I was ignored and he just continued to open the boxes the way he wanted them open. This encounter could have easily escalated into a shouting match, but I bailed before it got too heated. To me, this was recovery. I am letting go of situations where I would normally have fought to the finish for the short lived satisfaction of being right and making someone else wrong. At times, it may seem worth it. These times have been growing shorter and shorter as I gain more maturity.

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