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Questions to Ask About Fire

Questions to Ask About Fire

The master and the student were walking down a path between two fields. On the horizon, smoke was rising.

“Where there is smoke,” the student mumbled, “there also must be a fire.”

“Of course, of course,” the master nodded, “but there is something more interesting! What questions should we ask next?”

Photo by Dawn Armfield

Photo by Dawn Armfield

The student was at a loss, so the master answered the question about the questions himself: “If you see smoke, it is not enough to ask about the fire. You must investigate! What is it that burns? Then you ask: Who kindled the flames? Who told him to, who let him, who handed him the spark?”

A field or a house rarely burn without a cause. There is always someone who caused it. Either by intent or by negligence, which often are indistinguishable.

Do not talk too much about the fire. The fire is both a danger and a distraction. If you can stop the fire, stop it. If you cannot stop the fire, leave it burning and later rebuild. Yet always ask, who lit the fire and why.

Tangible vs. Abstract Structures

Tangible vs. Abstract Structures

Focus on Emotional Relevance

Focus on Emotional Relevance