Monday Musings 255 - Straight Line in a Jalebi
‘’Can you see a straight line in a jalebi” – quipped the master! This musing is a result of it.
We make sense of the world, things, and situations through our own lenses. The lens through which we see the world, things and situations determines the sense we make. The output is rarely and feebly purely rational.
On the other hand the number of variables that exist which has an impact on the issue at hand is numerous, rarely less – and often they impact each other in conceivable and inconceivable ways. The innate nature of things is complexity. There is a premium on someone who can simplify. This is a rare talent – often rarer than we might think. The master’s earthly wisdom is to search the straight line in a jalebi. Brilliant!!
Jalebi is convoluted, no beginning and no end in sight. It’s not linear, neither circular, in fact of no shape. It’s just like issues and problems at hand – we don’t know where things started and where it ended – so the problem solver is exasperated to imagine the point where the unravelling and the solution must begin. What is the point of maximum impact, the point of maximum leverage, the point which will give us the greatest outcome to our effort? The problem solver has his challenge cut out but he shakes his head in bewilderment. The master says, can you discern the straight line in the jalebi? Can you simplify?
It is often not only a matter of skill or ability but also of clarity and attitude. To some even a straight line can be confounding and some may be able to discern the straight line in the jalebi? What are we looking for? What have we been looking for all our lives? What is our instinct for? If we always look for simplicity, we learn to do it as a skill. Even in solving a complex problem, taking the first step is always as simple as that – the first step. Solving a complex problem through a complex solution is the mark of an intellectually lazy mind. Doing too many things to solve a problem is the mark of an intellectually inept mind.
It was Albert Einstein who had remarked ‘’Everything should be made simple but not simpler’. I think he understood the Jalebi effect very well. When the instinct to simplify things is honed over life, our problem solving ability improves. It is an instinct that also serves us very well in living a happy life. To someone who sees jalebi in a straight line, happiness shall evade.
So how do we begin? We must begin with the cousin of simplicity – Brevity. Mark Twain had remarked ‘’I did not have the time to write a short letter to you, so I wrote a long one instead’. It is infinitely more treacherous and difficult to be brief. Any idiot can be verbose. It takes incredible courage, talent and ability to be succinct and still say all that needs to be said. Impact comes from brevity and not loquaciousness. A mind that understands the brilliance of brevity will in all likelihood appreciate the beauty of simplification – he shall have the rare perspicaciousness of being able to see the straight line in the jalebi.
So the next time you dig into the syrupy sweet jalebi, remember to eat the straight line first – it will infinitely tastier – and you shall be infinitely wiser.