Yolk was everywhere.

As the King's men stepped gingerly and the King's horses lapped surreptitiously the Captain surveyed the damage.

Egg shell here and there, yolk run amuck and the shattered remains of a fragile career no longer intact.


Humpty – HRD as the boys called him – (his middle name being Reginald) was a long-time wall sitter. Despite periodic entreaties from the Captain and other of the Kings men, HRD couldn't ever quite get off the wall.

“For the love of God H,” exclaimed the exasperated Captain the last time they found him stranded atop the narrow wall unable to make a decision one way or the other, “take a look at the facts and make the call! Its as plain as a one-eyed sailor!”

“Now now” Humpty replied in dulcet tones, “you know I have to look at all sides of the story. Why, look at me,” he said, “I'm positively built to look at everything!”

“Ah, there's a good egg,” the captain would say, “but you can't look forever can you? No, one day you're going to have to see.”

The Problem

Humpty relied on an implicit promise from others rather than his own good sense.

Believing the king would come to his aid and make him whole again should he ever suffer from his continued efforts to stay precariously balanced he strained against physics to maintain neutrality a lá Switzerland.

His role as arbiter for the king's forces meant – to him – he was forever straddling two sides of a question unable to come down clearly on one side or the other.

“Make a decision please H!” the Captain would wail, “No need to get all hard-boiled about it!”

Yet HRD wouldn't.

Or couldn't.

And now this: an omelette of epic proportion.

The Lesson

HRD did his best to be neutral and balanced premised on some sort of right and wrong as in a children's morality play. Yet the world isn't always so obvious and we're asked at times to get off the wall, make the call and get on with things, often without complete information.

Worse, believing an external prince or hierarch will rescue one making us whole undoubtedly gives away influence and meaning: relying on others for authority means we have none.

Lest you too attempt to balance on the narrow precipice failing to make the tough decisions, consider another career. There are lots of good eggs about so don't be afraid to scramble a bit, and poach your own path.

Either make the tough call or prepare for the fall.



5 thoughts on “HRD

  1. This is so clever and powerful. Using the Humpty Dumpty metaphor is a dramatic reminder that risk-taking is part of life and our jobs. Change-making is what we’re about in the end, whether we like breaking our shell to reveal our vulnerable insides of not. Well done, Christopher.

  2. Yes, we often get stuck looking for evidence that our decisions will be the right ones, and forget that life is largely listening to our heart, our divine guidance, and taking a leap of faith!

    Love your story-telling Christopher!

    Ang 🙂

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