Missing it?? LO6274

Thu, 28 Mar 1996 12:38:47 -0500

Let me ring an old bell here for a moment. Others have said these same
things before but I want to add my voice to theirs (again).

I read a lot of good stuff here. I enjoy a good conversation, even if I
am not an active participant, on many topics which constitute threads on
this list. Yet, I think that sometimes some of us miss the essence of the
ideas being talked about.

We are taught in the Western society to analyze something until we have
the very simplest essence of what "it" is. Then we begin making
generalizations based on that "true essence" as we apply "it" in the real
world. What has, in fact, happened many times is that we have obscured
the idea behind a plethora of largely irrelevant facts (yes, I know that
nothing is truly irrelevant.).

There's a saying I read:

In Japan they look at the forest.
In the US, we count the trees.

Some postings that come after a thread has been established are so
esoteric that they are, IMHO, largely useless unless one lives in a purely
esoteric world. This happens so much that I have even started deleting
postings from certain authors without having even read them. This is
because they are so vague and "lofty" (I suppose in the name of being
'theoretical') that it takes more time than it is worth to make sense of
what is said. This bothers me because I like to think that I value
everyone's opinion and want to give voice to all. Yet, I just don't have
time to revisit graduate school in order to decipher some postings.

I believe that the phrase "splitting hairs" is accurate in describing this
particular dynamic.

Let's not get so wrapped up in the over-definition of points and
over-precision of language that we obscure the central ideas being
presented. There's either beauty in the universe ... or there are an
awful lot of stars.

Before I get totally condemned for this view, let me acknowledge that I,
too, sometimes slip into this habit. When I catch myself, I go outside
and sit under a tree for a few days. That lets me get back in touch with
the beauty that is nature and look at thebeauty and dynamics of the system
rather than trying to focus on its component parts.

I listened to Senge talk once about "knowledge in the body" and building
"communities of learning." To fully appreciate these ideas and their
implications for Systems Thinking and Learning Organizations requires a
fair amount of quiet reflection, not extreme analysis.

I remain humbly yours.


Clyde Howell The Howell Group orgpsych@aol.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>