14 January 2010

Learning #8: When it gets hard, you might just need to wait.

While in Rwanda, the power would often go out, the internet was as slow as molasses and sometimes our food order would take 30 minutes to arrive. Often, I would react as though these were incredibly hard things. Pauvre moi!

With issues of greater complexity, I have learned that patience is truly a virtue. And that in the waiting times, you can often see and learn things that you might have missed while you were rushing. This isn't to say that all hard equates to waiting (the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti aren't too keen to wait for help). But as I assess my own learning (and realize my own impatience), I have learned that waiting to say something or do something might actually serve me well. I'm not necessarily good at it but hope to gain wisdom in this as I go. When I think about it in design, I realize that it isn't always promoted. Deadlines and projects await you so "hard" becomes part of the game. But in watching ideas emerge from something like Slow Design, I can see that perhaps even in the intensity of it all, there might just be room for and value in waiting.

One of twelve in this series

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