Sat down to a meeting today and felt ‘steamrolled’. You’ve felt it: that moment where you realize, with a sickening drop of the stomach, that the (fairly accomplished, important) person you’re talking to doesn’t want to know one bit about what you think, who you are, or what ideas you have to contribute. Attempts at inserting oneself into the conversation are abruptly cut short. Suggestions are dismissed. It’s not a learning environment at all. The caveat I will give this meeting is that it was planning for a grant proposal, and if you have any experience at all with asking people for money, the ‘ask’ has to be within a set of boundaries.

But what if I have the creative idea that will push those boundaries just enough to be interesting? What if you’re putting together a study that has already been done several times? Where is the desire to break new ground? Why don’t we ask, “What could make this EXCITING?” instead of going with the status quo. If everyone stayed inside the boundaries, played it safe, nothing new ever develops (thank you Capt. Obvious).

Thankfully I have a very open preceptor who listens and gives credit to my ideas. They may be harebrained and out in left field, but he does listen. I hope to keep being someone who listens, asks questions, and doesn’t steamroll.

Curiosity is closely tied to many things, and I think it’s the essential character trait of someone who doesn’t steamroll. Quite often, I do a heinous job of being curious, present, and caring. But being curious is something that I want to focus on more. Wondering why instead of accepting things as they are. Kids ask that question all the time – and perhaps that is part of what Christ wanted us to do when he told us to be more childlike.


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