“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I like that. For what it lacks in good grammar, it more than makes up for in good advice. And unlike some of the best advice, it is relatively easy to follow. The only downside seems to be the rarity of occasion to use the adage, because you see, most of the time it—whatever “it” may be—is broken.
The current state of affairs has forced my wife and me to order many things online that we normally would have bought in the store. The overwhelming result has been that to our frustration, most of our orders arrive broken. And those online orders are not the exception; brokenness is all around us. Cars break down, roads break down, and the ice cream machine at McDonald’s seems to be perpetually broken down. We break a nail, break a glass, and the fish that got away certainly broke our line. The ornery boy down the street with his baseball has been known to accidentally break a window and his sister not-so-accidentally broke her curfew just last Saturday night. Our government is made up of what many call a broken political system, functioning with a broken judicial system, and operating in a country with a broken health-care system. Look closer and it will break your heart to see the vast amount of broken marriages, broken families, and broken promises. Brokenness abounds.
And if the mantra of a previous generation was, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” then current society suggests, “If it is broken, then replace it.” The next time something around the house breaks or an electronic gizmo is on the blink, try to find someone to fix it. Good luck! If you are fortunate enough to find someone, likely you’ll also find it more economical to simply replace rather than repair. Like our broken gadgetry, relationships are tossed aside at the drop of the hat and promises are thrown away at the first opportunity for self-promotion.
We are no longer a society of fixers. And isn’t it ironic that in a world full of more brokenness than ever before, we find ourselves with a dire shortage of fixers?
You may well recall the last time we chatted, I discussed “farmers”—those individuals not afraid to get a little dirty to do the work needed to bring peace and prosperity to our world. This week, I plead my case for fixers—those people unwilling to give up on seemingly hopeless causes. The fixers lend their unique talents and experiences to a broken world in desperate need. They build back up, they counsel, and they put back together the pieces long strewn apart. You’ll recognize them around your neighborhood by these distinct qualities and the obvious fact that they’re never throwing away or giving up, but instead repairing, restoring, mending, and improving themselves, their community, and their relationships with others.
As a dear friend of mine often reminds me, he’s “always leaving room to improve.” He’s a fixer and I hope you are too. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if it is, then it’s time to get to work!