How to Stay Open to Solutions For Your Problems

A huge storm is blowing my neck of the woods. It might even snow tonight. I kind of like snow, because I never really got a chance to experience it much as a kid. Of course I have a friend that grew up in Minnesota, and now he can’t get enough sun. The hotter the better. I guess your experience can determine what you like, proving that reality can be subjective, when you take things into consideration.

One of the drawbacks of this huge storm coming in is there has been a large door banging shut somewhere. Since I’ve only been in my building for about a week, I’ve been listening to it for the past couple of days without really being sure where it was. You know when you can hear something, but every time you think you’ve got the location pinned down, it seems to be coming from somewhere else? Or when you think you can find the source, you seem to have trouble being able to find your way to the beginning of something? 

So tonight is extremely windy, and the door was really BANGING shut every couple of minutes. And I thought to myself, there’s now way I’m going to be able to sleep soundly with all that racket, so I’d better go have a look.

Off I go to investigate. It seems that it is a big metal door that is on the stairwell on the west side of my building. The door is really big, and really heavy. My first thought was to just simply shut the door, and that will be that. But there are two problems with that. The first problem is that it only shuts with a latch from the inside, which is inaccessible from the outside. So if I were to close the door, it wouldn’t allow other people to come in. It would be great for me, but not so great for other people. 

Sometimes when the obvious solution to something doesn’t seem so great when you take time to think how it will effect other people. If you just take a little bit of extra time to think of others, you can really create more benefit. Of course most people, like you, understand this, but a few people don’t, so I think it’s important to always go the extra step.

Then I thought of something. If I opened the door all the way open, like it normally sits without any latches or anything, it would be fine. The problem was that the extra wind was somehow getting in behind it and pulling it shut. Normally it just sits open, inside of a sunken frame just slightly bigger than the door itself. Because it’s so heavy, apparently it never closes unless somebody (or a very strong wind) pulls it shut. So I had an idea. All I had to do was find something to jam in between the door and the sunken frame, so it would stay open, and it would work fine. There seemed to be about a quarter to half a centimeter space.

So I came back to my apartment, and looked for something to jam in. AHA! One chopstick. I grabbed a hammer, and off I went.

Perfect fit. I pulled to make sure, and it was solid. Held open. Wouldn’t budge.

Not only was the obvious solution inappropriate given the consideration of others, the best way to fix it seemed to be exactly the opposite of what I’d expected.

Funny how that works.