One of the things I find easy to do is to explain things which seem evident to me. When I see a user struggle with some interface or with the ways things are being done in a group, I switch into a “this is how it works” mode. While I might assume that everyone knows I’ve learned not to expect it and to remain attentive to basic issues.
In a group, it is often tough to ask “what are you doing there?” when it seems that everyone else knows how to do it. It takes courage to ask how it works as not knowing can be assimilated with “you don’t belong to this group”.
I was reminded of this while listening to Alain de Botton on Krista Tippett’s On being podcast. There he moved this question to a different level. He explained that for him religions start from the idea that we don’t know how to live. The wisdom and teaching that follows thus serving the purpose to help followers to learn how to live.
Alain de Botton follows a similar approach. A lot of the ideas he shares in this interview serves to clarify everyday concepts. When he describes feelings and behaviors others exhibit he strips existing ideas away. And in finding these simple terms to describe life he helps us see things from a different point of view. That’s what helps us to get to the core of what is happening around us.
It is much more complicated to figure out how to live than we think.
It doesn’t happen by itself.