Ray asked me recently if I thought he was capable and I of course said yes. He had just told me that one of the things he loves about me is that he thinks I am a capable woman. This question inevitably leads to conversation about how each of us defines “capable”. Ray thinks of me as capable because I am able to get us from point A to point B, I am not directionally challenged. He believes I am capable because I can lift things, I have some physical strength. Overall he believes he can rely on me; I can take charge and make decisions. I told him that while I define capable in a lot of the same ways, I had some additional thoughts. We are always toting things around in a trailer and he can tie down a load; I feel safe during schlepping. He has some skills with electricity and he turns a mean compost pile, I think of him as useful around the house. I also define his capability as being able to communicate and talk through things; if either of us is having an issue, we can sit down and talk about it. To me his ability to communicate makes him a capable partner.

This gets me thinking, is the opposite sex viewed as capable when we have strengths that are not automatic for our sex? These are of course, generalizations, but worth the question I think.

What are your capabilities?

When I started thinking about the word capable my first thoughts were around physical capabilities or relational capabilities. After further reflection, I am also starting to think about the word capable in terms of one’s capability for change, for growth. As we age, it seems like there is a tendency to become more rigid, more locked in our ways and less capable of change.

So I thought I should ask; what defines your capability for change?