Yesterday I needed to mail a key. But I recalled (from years ago) a home-school field trip: a tour of the post office—and a box of mangled garbage. Before the automated sorters got this stuff, it had been letters with little added erasers, pencils, and toys.
Well, yesterday I learned a key can be mailed in an envelope. It costs extra. (Of course.) And you just have to write, “NON-MACHINABLE.”
…I immediately saw the Blog Potential. 😉
How often we become formulaic in our dealings with people and circumstances. Some folks act like every situation can be handled in the same fashion: Same Stuff, Different Day. They have this idea that individuals can be run through their pet processes like cattle. They think we’re all prefab input cards that can be plugged into a Rube Goldberg Apparatus: Solution “A” goes into Widget “4”; Person “62” follows Channel “Q” through the curves and crannies, until all the dominoes fall down. Voila! Problem solved.
This sounds ridiculous, but actually, certain problems do have a pat answer. More often, though, circumstances aren’t stamped out or cut-and-dried. Much of life is non-machinable. Stamped-out formulas are not only inefficient, but can be extremely hurtful.
Just like a Rube Goldberg machine, some situations can become over-engineered or overdone; it’s a pain, really. It takes a lot of individual sorting. (Maybe that’s why people go postal!) Nonetheless, when it comes to people, we must take time—to get all the answers; to think clearly and pray; use discretion; be gracious; get out our scales and weigh the options. You’ve got one shot. (Put someone through a machine, and you’re hard-pressed to get them to try Solution B.)
Yeah, life is complicated; humans don’t come with an “Easy Button.” But machined solutions do little more than fold, spindle, and mutilate. Love requires riding together through the channels, guarding each other at the obstacles, and holding hands on the curves. Friends are Fragile. Handle with Care.
And, Oh, yeah: Special Handling will cost you extra.