Monday, February 9, 2009

Lessons from a Snow Shovel

All last winter we laughed as we watched everyone shovel there snow with these wooden snow shovels----wondering how it was that they had not yet discovered the metal scoop that we use in the States. How could they be so behind the times?
Then one day, I got to thinking....
(I know, I need to try it more often.)
and I looked at the sidewalks and noticed that they are not cement slabs like we have at home, but rather they are made from paving stones, bricks or even cobblestones.
Now I remember shoveling our driveway at home and everytime I would come to that crack in the middle, the shovel would catch and give my teeth a jar. The shovel was also worse for the wear each time it crashed into that impediment, curling and bending on the edges.

So, perhaps they DO know what they're doing here. A wooden shovel gives more and slides across the top of those rough edges much more easily. Their years of experience had taught them that.
So-------what is the lesson I learned.
Perhaps we are too quick to judge others and their choices before we have the full picture. It is easy to think that our way is best, or smarter or we are more clever. But, we need to step back, put ourselves in their shoes and try to understand where they are coming from. Be humble, be teachable and open. There is much to learn from other cultures. I know that I have learned an important lesson from the snow shovel.


LisAway said...

I agree! Sometimes it seems like the things they do don't make any sense, (and sometimes they don't, actually) but sometimes I find out why later, too. Like trying to sweep our driveway with a regular broom is so difficult and I thought back to all those poor ladies who sweep the sidewalks with their bundles of sticks and they're all hunched over. I've always thought that that was so sad and pointless (I still feel that way about how short the bundles are. There are so many old women with terrible hunch backs so I feel really bad for those cleaning ladies.) but I think a bundle of twigs would sweep my driveway much better in some ways than the broom I use!

JaneH said...

Love your take on this. Personally I prefer the Snow Blower.