Another dot in the blogosphere?


Posted on: November 27, 2020

I have referred to the image in this tweet before. I share it again to highlight how important getting perspective is.

If a person descending (far left) and another person ascending (far right) these stairs were to follow the arrows strictly, they would run into one another. As they did so, they would wonder why the other was not following instructions. They would not know that they were following instructions that they were given at the start of each of their journeys.

Rising above this cartoonish crash, I might speculate how this is similar to the tensions that arise between people who work on the ground and those who make policy. Neither see what they other sees.

A similar tension exists between those who dwell more in theory and those who are active practitioners. The theoretician does not have enough practice and the practitioner might not keep up with research. The two people might not crash into one another, but their ideas on what works might.

Both examples point to the need to learn how to gain the perspective of the other side. It might start with establishing forward-looking expectations (the arrows) and learning to react positively when there is tension or dissonance (the bumping).

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