One day last week, I was in my car when the traffic signal changed to RED and I had to stop and wait.
As I sat there, a young woman on her mobile phone crossed the road, holding tightly onto the hand of her little boy, who I would estimate to have been aged two-half to three years old.
This young woman, presumably his mother, was oblivious to the fact that he was being “dragged along” as she spoke to her friend on the phone.
The little boy, for his part, was not distressed, but his little legs were going along at such a pace to keep up with her and it made me think – “there has to be a metaphor in that scene for me”
Here it is:-
The woman on the phone is “the boss” / “the parent” and perhaps it is me or dare I say you!
In holding his hand she is leading and guiding and taking control and taking care but it is too intense and it lacks attentiveness to his wider needs.
In talking on the phone she is juggling her responsibilities with her other priorities, possibly her own difficulties that the little boy has no concept of.
She cares for her team/family, but at this moment she is not aware that they are being stretched and need her to have an awareness of the pressure that is mounting.
The little boy, is perhaps me, or dare I say you and we are supported and kept safe, but we are on the cusp of falling if the pace does not ease off soon.
We need someone to notice us and help us to find a way to ease of the pressure that we are experiencing in this moment.
The answer is for the little boy to call out and ask his mother to slow down or pick him up for a while as his legs are tired, or he could try crying or screaming but if it gets to that state it will be hard to overcome quickly the emotional upheaval.
The answer for us, as leaders/parents is to exercise control by letting go of the hands of those in our teams/family and noticing the stresses and strains by being attentive and aware and available.
The answer for us as individuals is to recognise our own limitations, speak up and ask for help from within and from others, before we break (emotionally/physically/spiritually/academically) when we need it so that we don’t end up like that little boy being “Dragged Along”
Bless Him! He was so gorgeous!
My next blog will be: The Soil beneath the Weeds