“How wonderful that you are a ladder for others.” (Lady Rosamond, Downton Abbey). I was working, with the television going in the background. When I heard those words, that sentence took on a pulse.
A quick google search expanded the picture. Ladders have histories, inventors and dozens of designs specific to each peculiar task. Three legged ladders for fruit tree picking. Hook and chain ladders for emergency rescue. Christmastree ladders for divers climbing back on ship with flippers on their feet. Even a fish ladder, an after thought created to help fish maintain their travels up river to spawn regardless of the interruption of man made dams and mills.
“Mistakes are merely steps up the ladder.” Emil Zatopek
If you could be intentional about conjuring up your own scalable structure, what would it look like? The one you build for yourself? The one you build for others?
You may be afraid of heights, but if you keep your eyes only on the next step, you’ll arrive at a higher destination.
There are times when people in general experience dramatically challenging episodes of ‘life’ — a loved one is sick, job turnover, relationship blow up. Let me stretch this metaphor a bit more, and ask you — what kind of ladder can you design that would lift you (or that volunteer opportunity you care about), through, out and up? Play with me here. You are the inventor of this symbolic ladder. As designer and builder, what features do you want? What will yours look like?