Computer Keyboard

Image by Paul Garland via Flickr

I have found that there are certain jobs that I am not suited to do.  One of those jobs is repairing computers.  I do not have the knowledge, but I also do not have the patience.  The individuals standing behind computer repair counters and computer help lines  have endurance.  They have to endure people, like me, who have just enough computer knowledge to be problematic.  We are the ones who  attempt to fix things ourselves.  After becoming very frustrated on our own, we find that we have complicated a problem.  We are probably the same ones who try to fix household plumbing and create a larger headache for the professional plumber.


The people who make a tangled mess out of the situation are not the only people that a computer tech must endure.  They must also endure the impatient people who are convinced that all computer related problems can and should be resolved in thirty minutes or less.  These are the heavy-sighing, foot-tapping, and eye-rolling people who would like to tech to hurry-it-up.  The tech is the one who is supposed to fix the computer.  What difference does it make it if we the consumer cannot even describe the problem?  They are the expert.


Another group of people are those who are frustrated beyond politeness.  These are the folks who have considered ways to harm the computer.  These folks have been thinking about shooting the computer, hurling the computer through a closed window, or otherwise physically assaulting the machine.  Since the need for the computer is so great, the frustration is often unleashed on the computer technician.


All of these personalities are represented at the computer repair counter and in our daily lives.  These personalities may be represented in us or in the people around us.  We have a choice as to how we deal with the various people we encounter.  We can react or we can learn.


Reacting would be easy.  If someone acts in a negative way, the you respond in kind.  If someone makes things more difficult for you, then you make things more difficult for them.  If someone is demanding, then you are more demanding.  Reacting requires very little thought.  It is the knee-jerk reaction.


Learning is more difficult.  Learning means that instead of just seeing and experiencing the negativity, we make a conscious choice to learn about ourselves and the other person through the experience.  We can learn about ourselves by experiencing how and when we are able to make choices instead of just reacting.  We can learn about ourselves by how well (or poorly) we reflect peace, love, and hope.  We can learn about the other person when we look beyond the immediate reactions we experience.  The person who was trying to do their own repair may have some computer knowledge.  They could show us how another person’s brain works.  The person who expects immediate results from us probably thinks very highly of our skills.  The person who is frustrated may have a lot of life frustrations.


If we choose to learn rather than react, then we can grow.  We can grow in knowledge of self, others, and God.  I am grateful for the computer technicians who choose not to react.  I am grateful that my computers are repaired.  I hope that I can pass on what I learned from my computer tech, and I hope you will consider learning from others.


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