Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I have a mantra I repeat to myself every so often that looks and sounds like this: "Things are always more complicated than they seem." Deceptively simple, huh? I like it because it never lets me down. If something doesn't go the way I want or if something or someone surprises me, that's ok, it was inevitable--because whatever the situation was or was not, it certainly was more complicated than it appeared.

Recently, however, I've realized that my mantra played a sneaky meta-trick on me and has itself become more complicated than it seems. To avoid the risk of diving too deep into specifics (and amusing all of you with the ridiculousness of my life), let's just agree that my little saying has led me to over-complicate things one too many times in recent days. I've decided that me and my quote are going to part ways for a while so we can see other people and experience newer, less-complicated, tidbits of folk-wisdom.

This week I think I'll flirt a bit with an Einstein quotation: "Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler."


At 11/29/2005 03:40:00 PM,

I think you have rushed judgment on discarding your previous mantra. A mantra is a thing fought for over time; it shouldn't be susceptible to the attacks of a few days’ irritations. Instead of throwing the thing out, why not add the Einstein thing in as a parenthetical or a sub-mantra for now and see how it fits you.

"Things are always more complicated than they seem (but everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler)."

It's the best of both worlds! And this way you don’t risk offending your mantra’s self worth, eliminating the chance of re-adopting it in the future.

At 12/01/2005 10:54:00 PM,

I can't tell if Chris has fully "abandoned" his old mantra... We tried to do a practice criminal law exam, and things were going along smoothly until Chris said, "wait a second, this seems too easy"... Next thing we know, our answers had to double in length and complexity.

In all fairness, he was right. We were over-simplifying and he saved our skins from making some big mistakes, by pressing us to look for additional complexity.




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