Popping up to the village shop last evening, I saw something that made me grin. It was a set of sprayed paint guidelines for a new path from the pavement to the entrance of the Pharmacy. Why my joy in this discovery?
Over the years, the customers of the Pharmacy have beaten a path across the grass to go and collect their prescriptions. The intended users of the new path have made the way clear because there is now a permanent muddy trail to the door! This reminds me of one of my favourite stories from the history of Lateral Thinking. It concerned the wisdom of an architect. The architect had designed buildings set around a quadrangle. When the time came for the landscapers to put in the paths for the students, they asked where the architect wanted them, for they were not on the plans.
The architect encouraged the landscapers to pause for a couple of weeks to let the term get underway. Within a short space of time, the wear on the grass made clear the paths the students had chosen to get to their desired destinations. “There,” said the architect, “…there, is where you can lay the paths!”
Both the architect and whoever is behind the plan for our new path to the Pharmacy have ‘listened’ to their ‘audience’. The intended beneficiaries – the end-users - have shown the way.
I think these are stories for us this week. We all have a complex web of people in our lives with clear but differing needs. Too often, we seek to solve issues for them – with the best of intentions. Instead, if we listen and observe, I believe they can most frequently show us the way to a solution that works best for everyone.
You may have trouble with family or friends at the moment, or challenges your tribe is facing in Life. If we pause for thought, and go into receive mode, we will often be presented with a solution that we wouldn’t necessarily have thought of.
We’d love to hear your stories of where others have shown the way.
The path is clear for those who have the patience to wait and see!
A Moodscope member.