I came across this video several months ago and knew I had to write something about it. The situation offers insights into what can happen when we’re stuck in a difficult situation and a way forward does not seem immediately clear.

I noticed the immediate reactions of the people on the escalator when it broke down: feelings of anger, disbelief, and concern about the negative outcomes the situation will have for us. All too often, these feelings can get in the way of the ability to see potential outcomes, the feeling of (literally in this case) feeling immobile.

I don’t necessarily agree with the tagline of this video that “most problems are easy to solve.” But my experience does tell me that sometimes when we first encounter a difficulty, and especially if we experience negative feelings and emotions attached to it, the range of options can be difficult to consider. We may feel resigned to our fate or blame others, or feel powerless, waiting for someone else to come along to fix the problem. These reactions may be even more common in situations where the potential outcomes and stakes are especially high.

Talking with the Ombuds about a sticky situation or difficult problem may offer you the time and space to consider a problem and potential paths forward. The Ombuds may be able to offer resources, human and otherwise, that can positively impact your situation. And while a potential viable solution may not be easy, or easy to see, I do think that the ability to seek help may lead to options emerging that once seemed obscured.

So while the solution to many of life’s problems is not simply to climb the escalator, I would encourage you to reach out if you would like some help considering your options.