You never know

I spent the better part of today wrestling to come to terms with the most frighteningly complex system.  It was like seeing those maps of yore and coming face to face with that place on the map where there be dragons.  We’ve all been there, staring down that thing that just can’t possibly fit in our brain.  In this case it was the machinery that ensure all the money that goes in and out of bank accounts gets where it is supposed to go, but it could be anything.

This is one of the coolest parts of humanity: the ability to create things and systems much too complex for one mind to really grasp all the moving pieces.  Do you really understand the internet?  The space station? Heck, how about postal codes or air travel?  In order to simplify our lives, we build things so complex that some days I think it is a miracle that anything works at all.

And maybe that’s just it.  Think about the twin girls born last week of a single egg, with a single placenta and single amniotic sac.  And they were born healthy, holding hands.  From a system that is far to complex for us to understand in its entirety, comes a miracle: us.  But while it is also human nature to try to understand and to try to control, the pure joy of witnessing a new human entering into this world somehow overrides that urge.  I wonder if the word miracle has come to represent that moment when we let go, and embrace the complexity that we cannot understand.

And it’s that joy that I want to focus on, to nurture.  Maybe, embracing the uncertainties and trusting that these systems will know what we need better than we do ourselves.  Trusting that these complex systems will deliver just what we need, so long as we get out of the way.  As Wilco so eloquently tells us, accept the uncertainties of life because, You Never Know.


Jon Holt

A coach, an entrepreneur, and a no-bull advisor in growing small businesses through the use of practical strategy, light-weight governance and sitting back and thinking about running your business, regardless of what you do.

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