Philosophy Tuesday

bigger hammer 01_f

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“I gotta get a bigger hammer!”


There’s a funny tendency in us humans that I like to call “I gotta get a bigger hammer!”

I use it to describe those areas in our life where when we have a certain view that says “in this area, we need to do X,” or that “X is right,” and when we do or try X and we don’t get the result we want, we don’t say “huh, I wonder if X is inaccurate or not the solution”, or even “I wonder if X is not the best way to do it”, we instead go right to “clearly, I/we need more X!”

“I just didn’t X enough!”

And so we work hard to increase our capacity to X, do to X better, or apply more X. And it may have some impact, or not… and it’s usually worse if does have any impact, as then clearly if we keep on Xing larger and larger, eventually we’ll have enough X to have it turn out as we want!

This can go on for years.

In our own lives, it might be certain ways of interacting with people, certain ways we do our work, certain ways we manage our lives… in a more broad sense, it shows up in economic policy, political systems, sociological constructs, and more.

As is often the case with things like this, the bigger hammer mantra is so easy to see in others, and yet so hidden from our own view when it comes to us, obscured within that perfect logic of our internal world. It makes sense to us!

It’s good to re-examine our “this is RIGHT!” and “this is the RIGHT WAY!” strong suits every now and again, to see if it really is right, or if we’re just trying to get that bigger hammer.

When all we really need is just a screwdriver.

(It’s like when you try for a few minutes to push a door open, and someone walks right up and pulls on it, and walks in… D!oh)

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