A panoply of skills

I was speaking to a person whom I am very close to the other day who is working through some issues, one of the things she is doing for this is working on her skills, which are essentially micromanagement strategies to manage stressful and/ or difficult situations. This got me thinking about skills in general – and about how important they are on the one hand, and how often we take them for granted on the other.

Some skills we are born with, others we acquire through practice, diligence and training.

I am fascinated when I discover a skill in someone I’ve known for years – or thought I knew – that I had not seen in them before: a gifted singer, a prolific writer, a skillful DJ, a passionate mountaineer or a witty comic book author. It’s a firm belief I hold that if each of us brings our individual skills to the mosaic of arboriculture, that this in turn becomes all the richer and more diverse for it – of course this is a bit of an arb-centric view, the same naturally holds true for any group or community.

Just think about it: Stanley Longstaff’s music,  Florim’s videos, Julia Chilcott’s monster stump prints, the theaters that Florim and Gregor performed at the tree care days in Augsburg, Knut Foppe juggling burning skittles (in a fireproof suit, mind you ;-)), Salim Annebi’s spectacular theater company, Brian Kotwyca’s artwork, Jeff Jepson’s writing skills, the Beligian (of course) ThreeMagicBeers playing their punk covers — at volume! — , going to an Arbor Camp and seeing lots of people doing all sorts of different stuff, and so much more. Obviously this list is non-exhaustive and I am not mentioning loads of people whom I ought to, for which I apologize –  but yet the point remains: I find the diversity and range of skills simply amazing!

Of course, these skills may not be incorporated one on one into our daily work, but I think it creates an atmosphere of creativity, where thinking out of the box is possible and encouraged and in front of this backdrop people develop innovative, creative solutions.

Let's get thinking outside of the box!
Let’s get thinking outside of the box!

One of the recent additions to this dizzying array of skills that are united within arboriculture is Tony Tresselt’s book, Free Falling, an arboreal novel, that appeared last year. The novel is set in the Pacific Northwest around an ITCC and involves a cast of characters that may seem very familiar if you have ever been involve in such an event. I loved it, ripped right through it and am grateful to Tony for having made this contribution towards our climbers’ culture.

So if you have hidden skills and passions, I would encourage you to find a suitable venue or event to present them at and to get stuck right in with everybody else. Scared of making a fool of yourself? I suppose that is always a risk you take when you lean out a window, but then wouldn’t life be dull if we always chose the route without any unknowns in it?