Slipping on the Faculty Room Floor
A handful of years back, I stepped into the faculty room kitchen to put my lunch in the fridge. One foot onto the tile and I slipped and fell flat on my back.
After fearfully looking around to see if anyone saw me fall (funny how this was my first concern 🤦♂️), I then got up to check out the reason I fell. There was a puddle made of water and coffee at the entrance to the room that someone before me didn’t clean up. So I enjoyed a few moments of anger and frustration.
Then I took a breath, shrugged, and cleaned up the mess.
If the person who made the mess had noticed and cleaned it up, I wouldn’t have slipped. But they didn’t. And of course I would’ve been justified if I didn’t clean it up - I didn’t even make the mess!
Regardless of what came before, now that I had cleaned it up, people after me wouldn’t slip.
That’s what being an adult makes possible - being responsible both for our experience and for leaving the world better off.
Being responsible not as an obligation, but as an opportunity.
An opportunity to mend, to heal, to fix, and to give. An opportunity to feel, to enjoy, to consider, and to grow.
An opportunity to use our broadened perspectives, our facility with language, our capacity for compassion and generosity and forgiveness.
An opportunity to love unconditionally.
The radical responsibility available to adults can certainly be viewed as a burden - that’s why we often expend so much energy blaming others and justifying it.
But radical responsibility can also be seen as an opportunity - an opportunity to experience well-being and to be agents in fostering the well-being of others.
Thanks so much for reading. ❤️
“You are not responsible for the programming you picked up in childhood. However, as an adult, you are 100% responsible for fixing it.” - Ken Keyes