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On the Fear of Responsibility

Have you ever had to paint some roof trim, high up? You get halfway up that 36-foot extension ladder and you start wondering about the ladder, its footing and your body weight. You stop and hug the ladder, looking neither up nor down. Your left leg begins a ridiculous but uncontrollable shuddering. At length you conquer that particular rung and inch your way to the next, then the next. Finally you’re at the top, clinging for your life. How can you take one hand off the ladder to use the paintbrush? But you do. Tight as a fiddle you begin.

The sky is clear. The sun is nice. The thirsty wood soaks up the paint. You whistle and think positive thoughts and do a good job and forget about the height.

You’ve learned an important lesson of life from this. No matter what higher responsibility you take on, its scary, very scary, until you start working.

Nuggets, James Alexander Thom, on the fear of responsibility:

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