Long-Sight in a Short-/Fore-/Hind-Sighted World
In a world where hindsight is undervalued, foresight is overestimated, and near-term reactions seem to be winning the day, long-sightedness is barely in evidence.
Long-sightedness is wisdom’s domain, so it is not difficult to imagine what happens when a long-sighted perspective is not in the conversation. In fact, long-sightedness sets a table where past (hind), present (near-term) and future (fore) can come together for conversation rather than shout angrily from a cold distance.
Pick a topic, any topic:
- Investment strategy
- Climate change
- Defining fashion
- The importance of gender identity
- Urban planning (your city or mine, it doesn’t matter)
- The scandal at a nearby congregation
- The decline of print newspaper
- Dealing with a cantankerous customer
- An especially besetting issue you are facing
- What perspective does hindsight offer?
- What trends do a forecast indicate?
- What is tempting to do right now and why?
- What will matter about this in the long-term?
Engaging long-sightedness places us at a remove, a place from which to look at the dynamic in its entirety (past, present and future), a place in which we can see connections and systems and momentum and not be overwhelmed by complexity.
Even more, we can connect most deeply to the mission we say we love, the one that drives us and should drive our decisions.
Long-sightedness is a mental discipline rather than a calendar appointment.
Long-sightedness is Yoda, Gandalf, the prophet Elisha and Dumbledore.
Long-sightedness cares about ancestry and progeny, and that progeny begets progeny.
Long-sightedness is leadership, not just management.
Long-sightedness is stewardship.