Friday, October 23, 2015

The Parable of Twister

      Often I see people in my profession who become upset about what they see as the failure of other people in the system. It's easy to do this, and it's only a short step to trying to control outside actors, and then only a shorter step to blaming ourselves for failing in that impossible task.

     I use the Parable of Twister.

     You know the game, Twister. Not Mazola Twister or Strip Twister, but regular old wholesome Twister.

     What's the objective? To not fall down.

     Why do you fall down? Because you try to cover too many spots too far apart. Left hand blue, left foot red, can't quite reach green, boom. On the floor.

     What if you could just start on the blue spot and stay there, all your weight centered?

     You'd never fall down.

     The Courthouse is like a giant  Twister board.  As soon as you try to cover a second spot- the Judge, the Police,  witnesses, defence lawyers, Jurors- you're at risk. The more spots you try to cover, the more people you don't control, the tippier you are and the less weight you put on your own spot.

     Stand on your spot. Be the prosecutor (or cop, or probation officer, whatever you are) and if other people don't do what you think they ought, that's their line to hunt. You hunt yours.

     Cover your spot.

     It's a nice way to reaffirm the serenity prayer. Forgetting the difference between what we can change and what we can't makes us crazy sometimes.