July 30, 2007
vaguely remember reading a research article several years ago
that postulated that with each additional member to a group,
the decision-making within that group grows exponentially
more complex. In other words, add one more member to a two-person
group and the complexity of the group becomes six times greater;
with four persons, the complexity becomes 24 times greater;
and so on...
that context, take four young children in a family room (one
is 9-years-old, three are 3.5-years-old; two are male, two are
female) and try to have them agree on a common television show.
And the difficulty is not even coming to a consensual choice
[In our home, the cartoon Sponge Bob Square Pants seems
to appease all]. The real difficulty comes in trying to view
the television screen from where you are sitting.
the Hoedl household, there rarely is a time when the phrase
"I can't see! I can't see!" isn't uttered. 99% of
the time it is because the television is at the eye-level of
three-year-olds and one of our triplets is often times getting
a close-up view of a particular television... and blocking the
view of others.
can't even begin to tell you how many times in a single day
I have to say, "_______, please sit down so others can
see." I have even caught myself saying, "Nicholas-Emily-Hannah,
please sit down...", from the kitchen, when my son Leo
(who only wanted my attention for a moment) called my name.
creatures of habit we are...
each, upon some personal introspection, will find that there
is a core value/belief that motivates the majority of our actions.
And for 99.9% of us, this core value/belief is just and noble.
Life has a way, especially when you involve billions of humans
with free will, of providing us with innumerable distractions,
obstacles and challenges as we keep that value/belief in sight.
leave our front doorstep with that value/belief well within
our sight and yet, through a day of distractions, obstacles
and challenges, we find ourselves at day's end yelling, "I
can't see! I can't see!" If only the distractions, obstacles
and challenges could just move out of the way, we would be able
to keep our eye on the goal: that core value/belief. But, it's
never that easy, my friend.
so many lives intersecting on a daily basis, it's inevitable
that someone or something (situation, obstacle, etc.) will enter
into your line of view... and block your vision. And wouldn't
it be so much easy if everyone and everything in the world would
be so kind as to move over just a few steps?
looking back over your life, you will most likely find that
you not only have maintained your constant view of that core
value/belief, but also that you had to do the majority of moving.
that is the silver lining in the daily mishaps, mistakes, obstacles
and distractions. We find that we can only yell "I can't
see" for only so long, and then we have to move - our habits,
our actions, our thinking - to get a better view on what is
the research still holds true on the complexity of group decision-making,
but sometimes it may be just as simple as taking a few steps
to either side. Ah, now we can see.