4/27/08

Sandpaper - Part Two

In the previous blog, I dialoged about change from the perspective of someone leading that change. But what about when you find yourself on the receiving end of change? When you are the wood, being molded, and sculpted to work in a new environment? This all comes back to the choice that you must make. Each type of wood has a different type of hardness, which means that some wood is easy to change, and others almost resist being changed. I’ve worked with both, and from my preference as a carpenter, I would say that I love working with wood that’s found neither to be too soft nor too hard. If you’ve ever worked with pine, you know that it is extremely easy to mold and shape. It requires very little work. As a leader and a woodworker, I am always displeased with pine, if I sand to hard, I can damage the wood, and then I have to throw it away to start over. It scratches and dents easily, it’s the type of wood that no-one really appreciates because it is either easily wounded or unable to withstand change. Working with maple on the other hand is extremely hard. While with pine you have to be extremely careful to make sure that it doesn’t get damaged, maple is intensively resilient to any change. It constantly fights being sanded or having its corners softened, you can’t work with it, which is why it makes such a great cutting board! But oak is a wonderful wood. While it is neither too soft nor too hard, it’s great to work with fighting and giving at the same time. If it is damaged, it’s easily repaired, it conforms to change. Which begs the question…which wood are you? Are you like pine, easily damaged and useless to the woodworker? Or are you like maple, resisting and fighting change to the end? Or are you like oak, not easily damaged and not resisting the woodworkers design?

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