A Beautiful, Underrated Resource
The farm manager handed me a pair of pliers.
There's a rip in the fence that keeps the pigs in, he told me. You need to fix it. If you don't - here, he smiled in a part playful, part serious way - the pigs will all get out.
Then he turned and walked away, his sheep dog tailing his heels. And I stood there with a pair of pliers in the dirt driveway of an Italian farm that would soon be pig-less if I didn't do something with the pliers.
Now, had I been back home, I would have gone to the hardware store to find out what kind of fencing to buy. Or asked my father for his insights. Or Googled, "How to fix a pig fence."
But I was in rural Tuscany. It was too early to phone my Dad or the hardware store. The dial-up internet was erratic. And even if it wasn't, there was no time.
Okay, okay, I thought as I walked up the hill to the pigs and their ripped fence. I don't know where the rip is and I don't know how to fix it when I find it, but I'll just have to.
And somehow, some way, I did. There was no choice. You'd have done the same.
As I walked down the hill from the pigs and their mended fence, it occurred to me that we are quick to dismiss ourselves as a resource. But strip away all the other resources and we'll often find we've got more insights than we might give ourselves credit for.
I'm not saying don't ask for help. By all means, do! But also know we don't always have to race straight to the seasoned professionals. We can ask ourselves for help, too. We are, after all, our own resource.
And if we go foraging around in our heads and hearts, I think we'd be surprised with the insights we can come up with.
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