Thursday, August 26, 2004
You need some distance to see things clearly
The biggest challenge for those who are trying to take a clear and objective look at our society, markets, politics and beliefs, is that we participate in them. As a result we observe it through a tinted pair of glasses. We are more likely to have clear vision if we have seen and participated in other societies. This is the principel behind anthroplogy - that an outsider can be a more accurate observer than a participant. Yet we continue to believe that we can interpret the society in which we live to others and ourselves. We need to understand that even a brief period of time spent in another country provides greater clarity, and living elsewhere for a while is the most useful thing we can do to appreciate and understand the culture where our roots lie.