The post image shows a bar, which I’ve been to in Berlin. Behind the bar itself is the entry to a cellar, which can be closed by a trap door. This entry is not secured in any other way, there is no guarding rails surrounding it.
While me and my friend were at the bar, this trap door has been open the whole time. The two people working at the bar, a woman and a man, were walking in many different directions, sometimes also going down into the cellar to fetch additional supplies. It was hugely distracting to me.
To me, this hole in the floor is an accident waiting to happen! I told this much to the woman. She said “I hope no accident will happen. We sometimes close it when there are a lot of people in the bar”. (emphasis mine)
But – you know people! They get distracted. Sometimes they’re tired, overworked, or some worry occupies their mind. One slip, and down the stairs you’ll fall …
one slip, and down the hole we fallPink Floyd, One Slip
it seems to take no time at all
a momentary lapse of reason
that binds a life for life
a small regret, you won’t forget
there’ll be no sleep in here tonight
It’s so easy to see where other people are endangering themselves, if you are not in the situation itself and have become accustomed (and possibly foolishly confident in you staying safe). Nothing happens, and boundaries get pushed, you feel safe, because nothing has happened yet.
Our own open holes
Applying this key to our own lives – where are the holes we leave open? Which could cause us great injury, if we are not forever watchful and at the top of our game? Are we taking unnecessary risks?
Could we rearrange our “bar” (our life) in a way, which does not require this dangerous trap door to be open all the time? Possibly putting supplies in a different part of the bar, where they are more easily accessible? Or is it possible maybe to build guard rails around the hole?
Ideas where to check for holes
- your diet – are you eating food which slowly but surely undermines your health?
- are there any toxic / volatile people in your life, which could possibly even harm you physically? (appeasing them is leaving the hole open and carefully walking around it – instead of shutting the hole!)
- what about your finances – are you spending more than you earn, are you building up debt? (especially for consumer purchases, which do not generate money!) – the people you are trying to impress won’t care about you going bankrupt
- the type of partner you choose for building a life together – will they support you in tough times? Or will they withdraw, and let you deal with your own problems?
- the area you live in – is it considered safe? Or do you worry all the time whether your kids will return home safely?
- the job and career you are opting for – is it something which is in demand, or will you have to compete with “too” many other people, earning minimum wages?
- if you are an entrepreneur: are there employees which are not pulling their own weight, which are causing problems or are toxic to the team?
Being mindful of our own holes in life can help us prevent fatal accidents and problems. This is about leaving that verbally abusive partner, working on our fears of not finding another person in life. This is about closing that trap door for good, and finding other solutions to make our lives work for us in a safe way.