As I am writing this, the internet connection at the U has just recently come back after we were offline for several hours. I had a brief chat about it with our RE Coordinator, Judith Stein-Farrall, who told me that our IT consultant was called in and simply reset the routers. Judith and I both acknowledged that we could have done this ourselves – in fact, I have been able to solve more complex problems at home with patience, some trial and error (and occasionally running an internet search from my phone if the regular connection was not working).
In this case, not much was lost. I finally took time to file a stack of sheet music that had been piling up on my desk, and I dealt with some other offline business. It made me wonder though – how often do we abdicate responsibility (which literally means “response-ability,” the ability to respond), even if that means it will take longer to fix the problem and/or be more expensive? By saying “it’s not my job,” do we sometimes also give up some of our power, and the opportunity to learn and grow from a new challenge? (To be clear, I’m not advocating the other extreme, which is thinking that we have to be in charge of everything, or that every problem needs to be fixed right now. Balance, anyone?).
As we clean out our closets, garages and gutters, let’s also take a look at our habitual ways of acting and thinking and become aware of new possibilities. There is nothing wrong with letting an expert do a job that’s important – but sometimes it’s worth giving it a shot ourselves first.