The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Getting to the point

Rohan once shared a metaphor about parking in perpendicular spots.

He described the difference between parking in angled spots and perpendicular spots. The angled spots make it easy to simply drive into them if one arrives from the adequate direction. The perpendicular spots usually require some maneuvering. I’ve come to find that so easy that I rarely think about it. But, after driving through some snow I was reminded of it when I tried to park. I immediately realized that I had to park without the assistance of the park distance control. It was fun to notice my raised attention and to find myself using my experience from back in the days when this was the norm.

Reflecting on the metaphor I wondered how natural it has become to have assistance for almost everything. And I also wondered how this connects with what we want.

When asking someone what he wants, it is easy to expect an answer.

However, that answer might not be as accessible as that.

It depends on the context.

Imagine someone stepping into a bakery. It’s normal to assume that the person knows what he wants. But what would happen if he never stepped into that bakery? It might be more or less unchartered territory for him. Consequently, he needs to find his orientation to make his choice. It can happen through a dialogue. And he can simply point at one bread and hope that he will like it.

The vendor has the same options. He can suggest taking the bread that’s on offer or he can step into a dialogue to learn what the customer prefers or to explain the differences in the breads on offer.

Getting to the point sometimes needs a bit more care, a pause to assess the situation, and some additional moves until the “point” is found and until the car is parked.

What is true for buying bread and parking a car is also true for many situations linked to getting what one wants. It is much less a question of either receiving it or not than a question of understanding how what one wants is accessible in the given situation, but also what of it.




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