(image from 'The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy and colours added by Marta Badia)
This week's discussions revolved around the theme “Tool Boxes”. This metaphor offers a great opportunity to think about our skills and know-how and lends itself to wonderful parallels to reflect about. Is it about the number of tools contained in it? Or is it about how well can you use them? Are you particularly skilful at using some tools in particular? Can you find the tool needed for the job in time? Do you carry multipurpose tools? Do you replace and discard old useless ones?
And yet, it isn’t just about the tool itself, is it?... Is the wood too hard? That metal might easily scratch Has the screw lost its head? Is it the right time of year? The more we think about this a new question arises… is it about the tool at all ? A tool box is as good or as bad a the person that handles it. It could be all new and sparkling…. even boxed! But in the wrong hands… useless, perhaps even dangerous. Doesn’t the smallest little thing do the job sometimes to perfection? You need to know what it takes to tackle a problem. Do you actually know what the problem it is at all? Did the rust build because it was left outside or had it been misplaced inside? A tool box is useful, of course it is, but those tools still need you, your skill and ability, they are only as good as their owner. A tool box is for show too – a plumber without it would be looked upon with suspicion – so would a butcher without a knife. Our tool box reassures the other, props us like in a theatre play, building a scenery, a plot, unveiling a rosy end. Get to know your tool box – work with it, clean it, sharpen it, renew it, find quirky little bits that might come in handy… you’ve looked for them before, keep them. Explore your box for those forgotten old friends that once helped too. Remember the ones your apron carries too; those handy light little pliers that get you out of trouble in no time and a warm smile as you hand them over and invite the magic in. A tool box needs looking after, in our profession, we call it CPD : )