Before You Make Up Your Mind

Growing up in Maryland, our family crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge every summer on the way to the beach. I didn’t think about how the structure, more than four miles long, withstood wind, rain, and the stress of continual traffic. I just wanted to get to the beach!

Now when I think of suspension bridges, I think of a similar quality engineered into human structures: flexibility. Author Scott Miker uses the suspension bridge as a metaphor to discuss flexibility. Does it suggest that one is weak or wishy-washy? No, just the opposite.

Flexibility makes it possible for the span to stretch further and to withstand continual stressors. In people, flexibility is a fundamental quality of creativity. It allows more ideas to surface, giving individuals and groups more raw material to work with before making decisions

It’s true that sometimes ‘sticking to the plan’ is called for. It’s equally true that changing your mind doesn’t signal weakness, it signals flexibility.

And that’s something everyone can practice.

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