Walter Kerr in his book The Decline of Pleasure makes these statements about how to approach life: “With a roller skate on one foot and a hiking boot on the other, we can switch tactics; it is by being free to switch tactics that most engagements are won.”
Flexibility is the ability to adapt and switch tactics and agility is about the speed and ease with which you do. They are the opposite of rigidity of thinking which seems to me much more common. Ralph Waldo Emerson didn’t say (and he is commonly and erroneously quotes) that a foolish inconsistency was the hobgoblin of little minds; he said the hobgoblin was a foolish consistency.
When we react to anything–at home or at work–automatically, we bypass the chance for switching tactics which might have won the metaphorical battle or at least improved the outcome.
It is far too easy to live life on a kind of auto-pilot, and while that may save a little effort, it diminishes the journey.
Thanks for quoting one of my favorite books. It’s a slow read, but I love its central insight that we cheapen things when we value them only in terms of the value they produce. I hope we never get to the place — some people are already there — where we judge our relationships only in terms of what they give us.
I always appreciate your insights.
Keep it up, Chris