Photo by Artem Podrez on

frightened, elated, sometimes trembling,
sure the weight of the word had come into my arms,
ready to learn what it was that I should do

Dick Allen, The Adult Section

Somebody should do something. Where are the people who will do something? Surely, there is a boss, a prime minister, a leader or a parent to solve this for us. They should have planned better. This shouldn’t be happening. Surely those responsible will step up. Can’t I just play? Can’t I skip the hard bits? Can I have an icecream now and do chores later? Why do others get to play?Why won’t someone step in take the responsibility from our hands and solve this.

I can almost guarantee that the readers of this blog are adults. Yet, we have all thought these thoughts. We have longed for a parent or parental figure to take away the troubles, to make us feel better and to help us find the happiness we lost. Our organisations love to create parent-child relationships that strip from us the difficulties of adult accountability and the conflicts of competing adult perspectives.

The hardest change to make as we evolve to new ways of working is to remove the parent-child relationships from our organisations, our work and our societies. To make our work truly human we need to stand on our own two feet, express our own views fearlessly and fill the adult shaped lacunae we ourselves have created.

Adulting is hard, relational work. Being an adult engaged with other adults demands new conversations, new acceptance of accountabilities, new drive and a clear sense of ourselves. Each of these things will make our work better, more rewarding and more productive for us and others. We need to start now. How can you take on the adult-size holes in the world around you?

 my hand trembled as I took it up
and moved slowly to lift it out of the window     into

the air     a kind of thinking     like everybody else
looking     for a continuing contravention of limits and
of substance

Robin Blaser, A Bird in the House

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