Saturday, April 12, 2014

Brains, Brawn, & Bashing For An Answer...

Problems.  There everywhere. The question is how to solve them. Personally, I’m less inclined to take the time or finesse, or enlist those wavy grooves inside my skull in effort to find a solution. Like my ancestors, I grunt and bang and smash and then pick up the pieces.

My wife takes a different approach. Where I look at the triangle/square/circle puzzle like a monkey, scratching my head and mashing round objects into angles, she will turn the problem over in her head and draw conclusions. Why won’t this fit through the triangle, what’s different about it? How does it feel?

Brute Force, meet the Analyzer.

My wife calls her way the problem solver, but this sells the club and stone method short. There is an able in malleable after all, and with enough effort, that circle will fit through the triangle pattern.  (I know what you're thinking: Brains and brawn, that guy's got it all).

But now we’re teaching, and as our son matures and has already proven to be highly active and busy, we wonder, which path will our little guy choose?

The answer came soon enough, when he couldn’t get his little giraffe wheelie thing (A walk behind roller) through the threshold in the doorway. He grunted and yelled, then rammed the poor Giraffe’s head into the doorjamb over and over until my wife intervened. I would have helped but I was too busy watching him go bananas.

My wife looked up at me and said “See, brute force, just like Daddy.”

It’s not so much a temper thing as an instinct. Oh that didn’t’ work, let’s try it again but harder. Maybe it’s the male default. Also, I feel (see feel?) like the thinking part is more learned over time. I’ve come a long way under my wife’s influence, I have tried to actually solve a few brain busters. Throwing a shoulder into a door should be a last ditch effort, checking to see if it’s unlocked should be the first step.

Besides, the Brute Force method isn't the best approach when dealing with antiques, fine china, bomb diffusion, glass replacement, eggs, jewelry box repair, or model building. And it's definitely frowned upon in the surgeon's lounge.  That may be a good thing...

“This damn kidney is in my way”



But sometimes, BF can be the way to go. Like when my wife can’t get the lid off of the jar, who does she call? Mr. Brute. See, the world needs a little umph once in a while to counteract all of this thinking. That door in the basement that sometimes gets stuck? Yep, I’m all over it.

So as my wife teaches our son the many benefits of thinking, I hope he’ll know when to use which tool in his bag.

Otherwise we just might have a maniac on our hands...

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