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PlansAndSituations

Some people like plans. They want to know, in advance, where they're going to be and what they're going to do. They want a road map of the future, so they can set goals and reach them with confidence.

Some people like situations. They want to "go with the flow", to "hang loose", to be ready to respond appropriately to new circumstances as they emerge. These people are comfortable with uncertainty.

Plans are great --- but not when taken to excess. Nothing is more deadly than a rigid plan that doesn't take into account new information, as countless military and economic disasters demonstrate. Over-planning is a strait jacket that kills creativity and initiative.

Situations are great --- but not when taken to excess. Nothing is more deadly than drifting without a compass, changing course with every shift of the wind, lost at sea. Without a target, it's impossible to measure success. Over-situationalism is a random walk.

What's needed is balance: flexible planning, a goal-oriented responsiveness to reality. It's the same balance that we must maintain between long-term and short-term, justice and mercy, reason and feeling, experience and innocence.

Friday, August 13, 1999 at 19:28:53 (EDT) = Datetag19990813

TopicPhilosophy


(correlates: GoodIdeas, GibbonChapter19, PrepetitionAndPrepeating, ...)