After moaning for weeks about the touchy elevator in my new apartment, I eventually accepted that maybe the elevator wasn’t malfunctioning. Or, rather, if it was, it wasn’t in greater need of maintenance than my own expectations.
Granted, many of the technologies I find in Spain are either currently broken, were recently broken, or are fated to be broken soon. Over the past year, I’ve found that Spanish culture excels at living carnally in the present: food, drink, and fun, there’s a reason why fiesta rhymes with siesta in Spanish. In contrast, Spanish culture seems much less disciplined when expressing its passion for life through bureacratic systems.
And yet, to borrow a five-fingered slogan from the tie-dyed bongo drummers of the world, it is what it is. However dysfunctional the elevator may be, it is ultimately my approach to using that is inadequate. As frustrating as it may be, I can’t rely upon anyone else to fix the issue. I have to account for my own response to this reality, taking the initiative to adapt to my environment.
In my apartment, it’s not enough to press the elevator call button casually and walk away [as seen, perhaps, in the video below]. What’s required is a special touch: one must press the button firmly, hold the button depressed, and then wait for the sleeping machine to respond.
This struck me as a fitting analogy about managing life’s relationships. Whether we’re framing our connection with ideals, goals, projects, or people in our life, the essence of how we should conduct ourselves remains the same:
1) Be firm in action
2) Be committed to follow-through
3) Wait for a response from the world
I submit the above rule as a working model of conviction.