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July 3rd, 2018
Context always matters.
Someone can easily be vilified and cast in a bad light if a particular statement they have uttered or written is -picked and presented as a stand-alone statement. Without the original context of the statement, a new context arises instantly: a narrower context that can only be inferred by the one statement. The person who pulls a statement out of context hobbles anyone who reads it – forces blinders through simple ignorance.
Indeed in some sense we are forced to do this with ourselves and our message. We are invariably limited in what we can say and so we try to be succinct and pack our meaning into denser and denser sentences. Or we simply think that a listener will intuit all that is left unsaid. When really what is needed is more conversation, an expansion of context until at last two perspectives can be seen as part of one environment, limiting themselves and each freed with the introduction of that larger context.
It’s a fairly reliable rule that if you aren’t actually up in a tree harvesting one of nature’s delicious sweets, then
Cherry-picking always yields rotten fruit.
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