An obstacle is something in the way of what you want or need. It can be a disagreement about which restaurant to eat dinner at, or a disagreement about how to handle a project at work. It’s difficult to pass the obstacle, whatever it is, but you can if you want to. YOU’RE the only one holding yourself back, no one else is. Obstacles are MEANT to be surmounted, they’re supposed to be conquered. Whoever heard of going on an obstacle course and not being able to make it through? Everybody makes it through, if they try.
But what about barriers? A barrier is an obstruction that prevents you from passing. It’s a wall – with no way through.
Have you ever met someone who’s being an obstruction that prevents passing? It’s called intolerance. An intolerant person has already declared themselves to be unmoving and unyielding. That is why intolerance is not an obstacle to understanding, intolerance is a barrier to understanding. An obstacle implies movability whereas a barrier implies immovability.
Imagine you are talking to someone, laughing with them, and experiencing shared moments. Here, you have the power to bring about the transformation of a barrier into an obstacle. In moments of shared discovery, we find understanding. In the instant of recognition, we find love. And where there is love, there are no barriers, there can only be obstacles to overcome.
Within you resides the power of possibility – the power to turn the barriers of your relationships into obstacles you can overcome. Within every person lies this ability. There are no immutable barriers when we are all one. Wherever you see a barrier, look again. An obstacle is just waiting to be discovered! When you choose to see barriers as obstacles, THERE is the gift.
by Danish Ahmed & Steve Rogers
Ordinary Words ~ The art of effective communication.