We have a new tool store in town. I was compelled to browse there today, which makes consecutive days of me looking at tools.
I fancy myself a low level DIY kind of girl…I own a few power tools. There was more than one moment in each store that I found myself in the way of someone who was looking for a specific tool, who can identify and use the tools that were making me turn my head sideways or making my eyes open wide.
So many kinds of saws and routers and sanders…22 inch screwdrivers and 36 inch pipe wrenches…what do people even DO with those things? It sure seemed to me that any mechanical/home repair/DIY problem could be solved by a tool in that store.
Some people grew up with a family member who taught them, showed them how and when to use each tool.
Some people went to school and learned.
Some people learned by trial and error.
Some people don’t know and don’t care…and maybe couldn’t learn if they tried.
And I am thinking about how that applies in other areas of life.
I am thinking about how each of how has certain tools at our disposal…some inherent, some learned, some acquired the hard way.
Sometimes we watch another person handle a situation and marvel at the use of tools we have never seen or certainly don’t know how to use…
Sometimes life throws things at us for which we have no tool, and we have to go to life’s hardware store and, first, figure out what we need…then figure out how to use it!
It takes time, and effort…and, often, tears.
Sometimes we feel the effects of actions taken by folks who don’t have the tools they need. This is especially frustrating when we have worked hard – HARD! – to get a tool and master its use.
I am thinking that I must continually remind myself that such tools are a blessing, that the price of learning to use them is one people can only pay in their own time…
In the paraphrased words of Maya Angelou, we do what we know, and when we know better, we do better.
My browsing self, who knew so little about most of the tools I was seeing, got in the way of people who were purposeful, who had been taught or taught themselves how to use those tools.
They were friendly and understanding…surely I can be the same when I encounter folks who simply don’t have the necessary tools to handle life’s challenges.
Surely I can point them in the right direction, be reasonably helpful and kind, be mindful of the patience people had for me when I was short on tools.
How about you?
Will you join me?
We will talk again tomorrow…
I’m participating with The Nester in 31 Days of Examining My Heart.
This is Day 28.
You can find all 31 Dayers here. There are so many wonderful topics.
If you miss any days in the series, you can find the introduction and each day's post here.
Beth Painter is a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.