Fear of Tools

The other day, I accidentally cut myself while chopping tomatoes. It hadn’t happened in a long time, and the prime suspect was the different knife I was using. If you’re used to a five-inch blade and then start slicing with a seven-inch one, there’s more room for error.

“Argh. Dammit. That’s what happens when you use tools you’re not used to!” I said. But after I ran my finger under cold water for a bit and put on a band-aid, I resumed cutting and finished the job.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of avoiding a tool after it lets us down. But ultimately, it’s never the tool, is it? It’s us. The tool may be less than perfect, but we’re the ones who failed in using it correctly. A tool is just a tool, and being afraid of a knife won’t make you less likely to cut yourself. If anything, you’ll pressure yourself so much to be careful, you’ll slip up because you’re nervous.

Don’t be afraid of tools. Computers and scissors have no feelings about you — and if you want the two of you to work well together, you’ll do the same for them.