Sometime back I had written a post “Lessons learnt from Jenga“. The latest revelation came to me again through Jenga. Somehow I get fascinated to this simple game! Every time I visit my nephew I play Jenga with him. It was only this time that I found a variation of Jenga in a toy shop, called Uno Stacko. If you have not played Uno, then you have missed some fun, particularly when you are in a group during events or functions. Anyway this game is a combination of rules applied from Uno and Jenga. This makes it even more interesting and challenging.
After playing several rounds, in a particular game, we came to a “can’t remove anymore” point where the tower started to sway and even a blow would bring it down. Neither I nor my nephew wanted to pull out pieces anymore, it was quite obvious the entire tower was shaky and clearly the foundation was very weak and supported by only individual pieces.
An idea stuck to me at that moment, what would it take to do a reverse Jenga? At this point how easy or difficult would it be to construct back the tower to its initial state? I relaxed the rule and used both my hands in doing this, so that I can hold the tower with one hand and it doesn’t collapse. Slowly I started taking the pieces from the top and started inserting them into the gaps. Very soon I realized that it was much more difficult to insert the blocks than to remove them. Because of a poor foundation, the weight of the tower had fallen on its individual pieces that were at the bottom and it was very rigid to insert any piece near them.
I had to force and lift the pieces carefully, so that a piece can fit in. But beyond a point I could not hold the tower any more, inserting a piece at the foundation was harder than removing it. Ultimately the tower collapsed. My friends, here is where I realized again, how important the foundations are, if you miss learning them in the first place, it is very difficult to put in those pieces later because, by then you would become rigid, your practices are rigid. Less flexibility provides less scope for putting in those important pieces which are the basis to support for the future.
But there is nothing as impossible. What is more important to realize is that there is always scope for unlearning and re-learning. Creating a stronger foundation is always possible if you are ready to let go of whatever you have learnt (wrong) and build the foundation again by relearning it the right way, which adds more value. Traditions and old practices may not apply for every generation. You can sustain and keep growing only if you are able to let go of old practices that are not applicable and learn and apply what is necessary for the current needs. So my friend, be open to unlearn and relearn as and when necessary.
This post is part of the foundation stone series of posts.