When somebody is trying to discuss a hypercomplex issue and starts getting bogged down in gory detail I sometimes like to interrupt and say, "Now explain that while standing on one foot!"

It's a good way to pop up a few levels and explore the big picture, where often a problem has an obvious solution. It's also an allusion to one of my favorite stories: Rabbi Hillel was challenged once to teach all of the wisdom of Judaism while standing on one foot. His answer? "Don't do unto others what you would not have them do unto you. That is all the Torah; the rest is commentary."

(see also CreativeDevices (1 Jan 2001), PrayersOfComfort (7 Jan 2004), ...)

TopicThinking - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicHumor - TopicFaith - 2004-12-16

(correlates: EatingOnesOwnCooking, TooYoung, PeasantWishes, ...)