Leave It Alone

While waiting for the “Plastic Wood” wood filler putty to set up on the door, I gently pressed a finger on the surface of the putty patch. A small chunk of the half-dried putty fell to the floor. I then had to wait a couple of hours to make sure the rest of the putty had firmly set up so I could repair the repair.

I just can’t help checking things too soon. In the case of the “Plastic Wood”, the printed instructions of the container warn users not to tamper with the product before it cures. If I would have simply followed the directions, my door repair project would have been finished much sooner with less frustration.

I used to have the same problem when I first attempted to prepare rice when cooking was a new experience back in the day. I kept lifting the cooking pot’s cover to see if the rice was absorbing the simmering water. This constant checking resulted in longer cooking times and tougher textured rice.

I finally resolved this by using a clear Pyrex glass pan so I could observe the cooking process. Leaving the rice alone to cook without interrupting the cooking process made all the difference in quality.

Leaving things alone is an art. Most of the time, allowing processes to run their course uninterrupted is best. Other times it doesn’t work out so well. In the case of cooking rice, I eventually tried various automatic rice cookers. None of them were satisfactory. They either under-cooked or over-cooked the grains. All three of the automatic cookers burned a crusty residue layer on the bottom. Clean up was a hassle, so I went back to using a conventional glass pan on the range for best results. This has provided a satisfactory balance between leaving it alone and monitoring the progress.

The same can be applied to personal problems. There are times when it is unwise to respond too soon. In our eagerness to quickly resolve a problem we reflexively react. An emotional storm can result from such hasty reactions. If we wait several hours to a couple of days, our rational minds will have had time to think through the scenario. Leaving the emotions alone to cool awhile is often the best way to handle an emotional crisis. This technique must be used prudently so as to not procrastinate activating a solution nor go into denial about altogether dealing with the problem.

The art of leaving things alone involves knowing when to intervene and when to delay intervention. It’s like cooking rice on the range. Too much interference causes a less satisfying response. Not skillfully monitoring it also causes a bad result. The same can be said for short articles such as this one. Too few words leaves an incomplete message while too many words belabors the point.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes author and motivational speaker, the late Wayne Dyer. “The Tao teaches us not to intervene and interfere. The things we love, we have to learn to leave alone. And the people we love, we have to learn to let them be.”  

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in philosophy, projects and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Leave It Alone

  1. Alien Resort says:

    “We sell no wine before its time.”

  2. Very true sometimes it better to let process take over.

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