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The Crowd and the Arena

Any situation has at least two perspectives.

One is of the person who is face-to-face with the situation.

Let's call this one the arena.

The other, is of the person looking at the situation from the outside.

Let's call this the crowd.

This post is about the nature of these perspectives, and why both are equally important.

The General and the Specific

Any situation will have general themes and specific details.

General themes often recur.

Specific details are always new.

The Arena

The person in the arena knows the specifics.

In fact—because of work in the dark—even if there are many people in the arena, each person will know different specifics.

The person in the arena may be able to recognize the general themes, but that can depend on how focused they are on the specifics.

The Crowd

The person in the crowd can only know the general themes.

By definition of where they sit, they cannot know the specifics.

Even if the person in the crowd was once the person in the arena, the fact that they are in the crowd now means they are subject to the rule of the crowd.

You Need Both

No matter what arena you're in, you're also a member of the crowd in someone else's arena.

When you're in the arena, and the specifics are overwhelming you (hint: they often are, and you might not realize it), it's useful to ask the crowd to show you the general themes that you may be blind to.

When you're no longer in the arena, you'll be able to better see how your specifics translate to general themes, which makes you a more valuable member of the crowd.


You're either in the crowd or the arena.

Give or seek support accordingly.

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