on hallways

I am too cheap and too carbon-conscious to pay for bottled water. Instead, I walk to the water fountain every day with a quart-size glass bottle and fill it up. I keep a cup at my desk. I like it; it feels very civilized. It’s much nicer to drink from a cup than a bottle.

But, every day as I walk to and from the water fountain, I think about throwing the bottle down the hall. I consider the arc it would make through the air, the sound of impact, and the way glass would spray out and hit the walls. I try to calculate how hard I’d have to throw it, and how far it would travel down the hall, allowing for the weight difference between a full bottle and an empty bottle. I wonder if I could convince people it was an accident and just slipped out of my hands.

All of this makes it sound like I am fantasizing about acting out because I hate my job or some such. And here’s the thing. I love my job. It’s difficult, it’s engaging, and the work I do matters. I look forward to coming to work. I’m not daydreaming about throwing things because of suppressed hostility.

I finally realized – I walk down a long white hallway to go to the water fountain. I turn down another long white hallway. They have no artwork, no decor, and no distinguishing characteristics whatsoever. I dream of smashing things on their floors because I am bored. I crave stimulation.

Lesson: Change keeps us engaged. We can use change in our programs to hold the interest of the communities we partner with.