MESSAGE FOR WEEK BEGINNING 20th November 2000
Suppose we did not have or could not use the word 'tomato'. You go to the supermarket and have to find a tomato visually or else explain what you want:
- it is round and red
- it fits into the hand
- it is used in making salads
- the juice makes a good drink
- a sauce is made from it for spaghetti
- it is often grown in greenhouses
Would it not be much easier to say: "I would like a tomato"?
There are complex situations where we have to go through the whole descriptive process because language has not been good at developing words for complex people/interactive situations.
Imagine the awkwardness of a teenager saying to his parents: "Look, I am really in deep trouble and I do not know what to do. I would really like your help and advice. But I do not want the usual sermons and 'told you so' preaching. Is it possible that we could work together on this to find a way forward?" That is both a mouthful and rather awkward to say for most teenagers. It would be much easier for a teenager to say: "Mum, I have an 8/1 here".
Mum rushes off to look in the family copy of the 'de Bono Code Book' (or knows this particular code by heart).
Edward de Bono nmt
19th Novembr 2000