“Ought we not to consider first whether that which we wish to learn and to teach is a simple or multiform thing, and if simple, then to inquire what power it has of acting or being acted upon in relation to other things, and if multiform, then to number the forms; and see first in the case of one of them, and then in the case of all of them, what is the power of acting or being acted upon which makes each and all of them be what they are?” ~Socrates
In other words, you can’t know a thing without studying its relationships with other things. A chunk of granite may seem like something insignificant when looked at as a stand-alone object, but when it is the cornerstone of a great temple, the relationship it has with the other rocks that make up the temple, and the relationships the temple has with the people who built it and who visit it, and the relationships those people have with others in the world all contribute to what that rock truly is. Suddenly, it is not so insignificant.
A shiny, yellow rock is of little importance until the gold is extracted from it, melted down, and made into a ring for a king. Suddenly, that little yellow rock has become significant because of the relationships it has. A king is killed to get the ring from him by a rival. A king from another kingdom starts a war thinking that, after seeing the ring, this little kingdom must have a lot of gold. And on it goes. Continue reading “Relationships Matter”