The Boat Story
There was a man in a small canoe out in the bay. The man was quite proud of his boat, which he had just refinished. The day began clear and bright, but rather unexpectedly, clouds quickly gathered and a dense fog rolled in. The man brought the canoe about and headed for shore. As he headed home, he could just make out the profile of another boat in the fog obscured distance. He kept that outline of a boat within his view and noticed that it was moving in his direction. This observation caused him some concern and when the boat was within earshot, he called out “Keep your distance so that we have plenty of room to pass.” However, the other boat continued to move closer and was now on a direct collision course. He called out again louder, “Keep your distance!” He was quite skilled with the oar, knew a number of strokes, and could maneuver the canoe quite adroitly. He changed course and paddled away from the other boat. However, as he changed direction, he was upset to see the other boat also change direction and again move directly toward him. The man could also see that it was a significantly larger than his canoe. He called out again “Watch out. Don’t hit my boat, it has been repainted.” None of this shouting had any effect. The larger boat continued to bear down on him. “Stay out of my way!” But it was of no use. Whenever he tried to change direction, the maneuver was matched by the on-coming boat. The boat dead reckoned at him until there was a loud crack from the crash. The man saw his new boat damaged by this senseless behavior of the other boat. His rage knew no bounds. “You idiot, look what you did to my boat!” He continued his rampage, screaming and getting quite worked up. Suddenly, the fog lifted. The man could see the larger boat clearly now. There was no one in it. The boat was a long abandoned shell.
Here are a couple of points to chew on:
Where did the man’s anger come from?
Where did it go?
Where is the responsibility for the accident?
Are there comparable situations at work or at home?