Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pulling Your Brain Muscle

When I was assumed to be not paricularly bright recently it occured to me that all of us, in our professions, at some time or another, make an assumption that one of our fellow 'peers' is not the swiftest knife in the drawer. Sometimes those assumptions prove correct, but other times they are far from it.

On this particular occassion an instructor of a technical training course essentially ignored my pleas for help when a particular technology was not functioning correctly in a lab. Normally, I could see why he ignored me. After all, most of the time I'm sure that his students asking questions during lab are the same ones that are supposed to be 'computer professionals' but can't install Microsoft Word. But in this case, he was wrong. I've been fixing computers since I went to my Aunt and Uncle's house in 1987 and fixed their Mac 512ke. I'm a geek at heart and love the systems. So if something seems 'off' to me it's usually because it is. I'm not saying I'm always right. Far from it. Nor am I implying that I can fix every computer problem. But to say that I would take the time out of my day to say something is dead wrong when it's really not? Not bloody likely.

So the teacher eventually was proven wrong and a solution was found and the class moved forward. No harm, no foul. I certainly didn't blame him. But a few hours afterward I realize that the flaw is usually within the accuser. I know that I often make false assumptions about 'end-users' that I help. And I also happen to teach Yoga and make assumptions about a practitioner's ability to, say, concentrate on breath or be as strong as their minds have the capability to be. And often I'm proven wrong. Even more so, I'm usually the one with the 'fault'. Why just this morning after a solid yoga practice the prior afternoon I awoke and promptly stretched and yawned in such an idiotic manner that I pulled a major muscle in my back. And then this evening I had such a good practice, despite the pain, that I was the 'class demo'. Amazing.

Perhaps the answer is that some of us are wrong and some of us are right and some are skilled and some are not. And you know what? None of us is one of those all the time. We're fundamentally flawed and that's what makes life so wonderfully insane, painful, ecstatic and joyful every minute of every day. You just have to learn to smile when you stretch up your arm to answer the question you know you have the right answer to... and you pull your shoulder doing it. Maybe you've just pulled your brain.

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