We make financial decisions, plan political campaigns, organise programs, advertise products, and calibrate tools using assessments by averages. From mechanics, to finances, and psychological evaluations we use statistical averages in everything. It is not 100% exact and it even sometimes fails us, but we make very important, sometime life and death decisions by it.
It is all true and helps us come to workable solutions of problems when it comes to mechanics, economics, and crowd behavior, but what about the common person, the individual?
These days I have been thinking of people that I know, or rather knew because I haven’t seen them in a very long time. I am here now with them for a short period of time and I feel I can assess things about them but do I really know them enough to allow myself opinions?
One may say that time and distance may cloud our judgment in knowing a person, but so does proximity. Looking at a person from afar we may see only a blur not only of their faults but also of their potential. Looking at them too closely concentrates our attention on details void of the perspective that gives them truth and purpose.
We are therefore left with the old adage that truth is found in the medium of two extremes. Not too far, not too close; not too long, not too short; that is the perspective that can give us not the perfect but the best our imperfect dimension affords. Like with anything else, our best judgment comes from an average between two extremes.
As I am writing this, I am reminded that I wrote something similar in the chaplain newsletter called: THE BALANCE OF THINGS, a good reminder before many of us gather together with family for the Holidays.
I watched a documentary about hermit crabs recently. The hermit crab has a very sensitive skin. So sensitive that it cannot stay for very long without protection from sun rays. As a result, he squats in the empty shells discarded by other crustaceans.
As a small hermit crab, he seeks a shell that will fit snug, but as he grows, he needs larger quarters. The documentary showed how hermits crabs instinctively gather together to exchange shells, everyone according to their need, in a very civil and scientific fashion. Apart from solving our homeless situation, we humans could learn a thing or two from hermit crabs.
I don't know if he felt any discomfort, but this tiny animal knew when he needed to change quarters. As people, it would be catastrophic if we donned a full adult body when we only have the maturity of a child. Our bodies grow in proportion with our capability to control it, or so it should be.
Throughout my life, I have been involved in many organizations, associations, groups, fellowships, etc….One could think that I really didn't stick anywhere but in fact, I feel like the hermit crab who changed “shell” everytime I grew into a different place. It could be the same for an organization or association that changes umbrella policies as it grows.
Of course we like the peace, quiet, and stability that sameness affords, but growth is an inevitable part of life and with growth, we must change shell.
Kudos to the hermit crab!
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