Thursday, January 26, 2023

#26 / That Runaway Toilet Paper Roll


Here is a lesson from real life experience. 
Sometimes, pulling on the toilet paper roll, to get what I need, I find that I have dislodged the roll from its hook, and that it now lies on the floor. 
Thinking that I should get things back to normal, right away, and that I should replace that roll on its hook at the earliest time possible, I pull on the end of the toilet paper that I am holding in my hand. 

The result is usually not what I want to accomplish. The toilet paper roll retreats across the floor, getting further away, not closer, all that toilet paper unwinding in a disorderly mess as I pull. I find that my inclination to put things right has been significantly frustrated. In extreme cases, the toilet paper roll will bounce with vigor into a nearby hallway, seriously upsetting my efforts to restore things to their previous condition.
Conclusion? When unwelcome and unexpected things happen, it is sometimes best not to try to restore things to their previous state, at least not immediately, since pursuing such efforts actually only makes things worse. 

You can all probably think of lots of examples of how this principle works out in real life. 

It's true in politics. It's true in personal relationships. It's true in the case of a runaway toilet paper roll. When conditions change, when unexpected and unwanted events have occurred, trying to act as if the old and usual procedures wil continue to produce good results is a prescription that will assure only failure, not success.
Image Credit:
Gary A. Patton, personal photo 

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