A better solution arrived by using patience and humility

I grew up learning to be very independent and to not count on people’s help. Recently, I wanted to bring down a copy of the book I wrote 20 years ago. It’s 9-by-12 inches, 600 pages long and weighs 4.7 pounds. It served as the textbook on project management, through the continuing education departments, at Stanford and Berkeley universities.

My extra copies sat on top of a 6-foot bookcase. I brought out a stepladder. Being handicapped, I sweat profusely as I mounted the two steps, while risking life and limb, trying to reach for it. I couldn’t get it.

A few hours later, Domino’s delivered a pizza. I offered the delivery man a $5 tip if he could get me the book. As he stands 6 feet 4 inches tall, he happily obliged. A few seconds later he had the book down, without even needing the stepladder.

As I enjoyed my pizza I cracked up laughing at myself. After worrying and feeling frustrated about my inability to do it myself, the universe showed me a better solution. It only required some patience and humility on my part.

I have a dream of creating Mauitopia (see mauitopia.org). In this interdependent society of the future, we can all rely on each other to help us. We each do what comes easily to us. There’s no need to struggle!

Challenge is OK. It helps us learn and propels society forward. Like the behemoth of a book, though, it should come to us easily.

Ori Kopelman