Sunday, January 31, 2016

To the person in charge

There was a recent endeavor to resolve a long standing issue with one of the smaller departments of our library. It was sensibly and responsibly conceived and put into action at a modest hierarchical level. Everyone pitched in for a bit and the results showed, a bit alarmingly, how useful and effective this project was. It was not designed to show anyone up. It was not slyly blaming anyone. It was just a thoughtful concept by someone taking action where action was needed. It is one of the things I like best about my library, that most of the time it is run on energy such as this.

But alas, the person sort of in charge of this small department took umbrage at the project, feeling control was being stripped from them, and they put a stop to it. And so it is done for now. But as it went it caused me to have the following reflections:

I understand lazy. I am not unfamiliar with lazy. I know how sweet it can be to shirk. I have indulged in the appealing sprawl of nothingness. I have not gotten around to things so many times in my life I have lost count in the same way I have lost count of my total number of lifetime sips of liquids. I can live with it. Sure, I am not inclined to count laziness as a virtue, and if I could rewrite my nature I would perhaps do so by putting in just a shred of laziness, for its appealing mouthal feel, rather than keeping my current two hearty scoops of laziness, in there now apparently for their sinful, health-be-damned richness.

I also understand controlling. Look at me here on clerkmanifesto, tyrant of all I survey. No collaborative effort here. I am patrolling every sentence and letter of well over a thousand essays like an angry and vengeful God. I am not above an overwhelming confidence and an abiding feeling that certain things should be exactly just so. Is this controlling characteristic as much a character flaw as laziness? Maybe. It wins a few points for the powers of its generative energies, and kept to one's absolutely personal domain it likely wreaks only a small amount of havoc. One might even say it even expresses a certain kind of antidotal quality to laziness. And so too, though I recognize the madness of its attempt at dominion, I accept my flawed tendency towards controlling as well.

But one cannot be both lazy and controlling together in the same arena. It makes you into a monster.

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