Sunday, April 17, 2005
Narrowness, or Focus?
I woke up thinking about narrowness, and focus. Aren't they the same? I don't think so. Narrowness implies closing oneself off to new experiences, sensations, thoughts and ideas. Focus, on the other hand, implies a GOAL. A person (or even a nation) can be focused on that goal, and still remain liberal, open, generous, curious, and spontaneous.
A narrow person can also be focused, and may even reach the goal faster that way. But will they be able to enjoy the accomplishment? I think there is a reason that we call the classical education "liberal." We used to value curiousity and breadth. Nowadays, it seems that "conservatism" is in style instead. In other words, narrowness. I find that sad, but understandable. People are scared, because of the attacks, and the present administration is trying to stoke and grow that fear.
However, the way to meet challenges is with creativity, not fear! Diversity is a sign of strength in a society, and in systems in general. If we retreat to a Fortress America, we will be under attack from all directions. I hope we regain our liberal stance, and use our creativity, our riches and generosity, our openness and intelligence, to improve the world.
Thus endeth the sermon.
Another fascinating look at this issue (sorta) - Cool to be Dumb: How Being Stupid is Part of the American Way from YGA Magazine: http://www.ygamag.com/pub/pages/editcooldumb.html
Everyone has a talent. What is rare is the courage to nurture it in solitude and to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads. - Erica Jong