Friday, February 19, 2010

The power of thinking and presenting with images versus mere words

Images are far more powerful than words alone. Using them we can catch things we otherwise might miss.

Take a metaphorical seat in my car, and let’s take a brief drive through the beginning of Bert Decker’s last blog sermon titled Disguised Decay. The headline is a quotation stating that:
“Status quo is disguised decay. - Pete Wilkinson”

Bert begins by preaching that:
“The truth is, status quo is a facade. You’re either improving or decaying. Some have put it that you are either growing or you’re dying. True. There is no in between.”

Really? That false dichotomy is the mental equivalent of standing at an intersection and only seeing the two pedestrian lights for WALK and DON’T WALK:

Well, since we’re already at an intersection, why can’t there be three possibilities, just like a traffic light? Yellow is in between!

Then in the third paragraph he glibly shifts from discrete to continuous by starting out with how:
“We’re all moving along the continuum of effective communicators.”

Does the continuum mean that my speaking competence versus time can change like my altitude? My route might bring me up into mountains or down into valleys. My route also could be level, along a plain or plateau. Out here in the Intermountain West we have miles and miles of
“in between.”

Then he proclaims that: “Even when you reach your goal as a communicator, the journey continues.” We can easily show this by adding a series of higher and higher goals to the previous image:

Bert continues with how: “Perfection is a dangling carrot, serving as a motivator to lean forward and do it. Whatever you have achieved, there is always more work to be done.”

He illustrates that thought by finally using an image of a hand reaching diagonally upward toward a suspended carrot. That vegetable did not seem too high to reach. The hand had not grasped it yet, but might. For me that image and metaphor did not work at all. The next goal should clearly require climbing further before you can reach it. Anyhow, I always associate carrots either with real horses or with Bugs Bunny cartoons.

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