Saturday, July 17, 2010

Connecting the Boxes

School teaches us how to put things in boxes.

We study Government over here and Psychology over there, and History, Economics, Business, Drama, English, Sociology, Education, Theology, Math, Biology, French, and other subjects in their respective boxes.

And each class mysteriously lasts a semester long.

Matters are not as neatly arranged when we get into life. The subjects become blurred and we discover that the best advisors are those who know enough about related boxes that they are able to connect them. If we are truly fortunate, we begin to see the connections ourselves and even challenge connections that we and others have assumed.

I say "fortunate" and yet the more links one sees, the greater the appreciation of our enormous ignorance. Which practices do we now confidently adopt that in future centuries will be given the same derision that we now accord to the physicians of old who placed a dead pigeon at the head of a patient in order to draw out illness?

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