The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Enhancing the ability to see

The human being is extraordinary, when it steps into the world there is little he knows. And yet he has already started to learn and will continue to do so for as long as learning helps him to solve the problems he encounters.

Some learning happens almost without noticing. It’s in the day to day and happens if one is present to the task. Depending on how attentive we are to it and if we include deliberate practice we can get into a virtuous cycle that eventually accelerates competence and confidence.

Along with the learning, we’ll encounter the feel-good effect of learning which then may trigger a vicious cycle of learning where we settle with the comforting of knowing and using the automatic habits we’ve learned.

The way we use language links us to the S-curve of learning.

In the beginning, we pay attention to the words and their meaning. There are too many words we don’t understand. We need help to cut through the overwhelm. Later in life, we start to learn words from the context in which they are used. It becomes deduction. The exact understanding of the word eludes us.

And yet, we pick them up and use them in a similar way as others have used them. That’s when words start to shift their meaning and become used because of the perceived impact they have. Along the year’s words that would only be used in specific cases or would be somehow forbidden shift into becoming commonplace.

In this process, powerful words will lose their power and meaning. But during that journey, they become used because of the power people feel using it.

That’s how fascism has become a word describing the full spectrum of political ideologies masking how it is actually enacted through leadership. Making it difficult to see it appear. Caring about the meaning of the word and make oneself acquainted with its definitions enables us to see it appear. We might learn that it is more present than we thought.

With the existing overwhelm of information, it’s clear that it’s hard work.

Staying present to the meaning of words helps to connect with the truth.


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