Imagine you are an explorer. You often explore jungles and forests, and occasionally cities and villages. People regard your exploring skill highly but with some reserve. One day, a builder comes to you who wants you to explore a bit of pasture. They are interested in changing the pasture so that many people might live there.
- Given your skill and experience in exploring, when you go out to the pasture, then the builder wants to know your opinion on having people live there.
You decide to visit the pasture.
After a day’s journey, you arrive at the pasture. From your vantage point, you can see it is bordered on one side by a large hill. While there are many groups of healthy trees, there are also inviting clearings. You think that if people lived here, they would enjoy the area. As you walk around the pasture, you take notice of the types of trees, variety of animals and insects, and appreciate the small river.
Upon your return, you describe what you saw and what you found. In your opinion, people would be able to live in the pasture. The builder asks many questions and you respond with your experience in the pasture. The builder asks if you found any bugs. You reply that you found many bugs for they were plentiful on the ground and on the trees. The builder thanks you and gives you a special token of their appreciation.
A few weeks later, the builder asks you to explore a city. They are interested in making changes in the city.
- Given your skill and experience in exploring, when you go to the city, then the builder wants to know your opinion on making changes in the city.
You decide to visit the city.
After a day’s journey, you arrive at the city. From your vantage point, you can see a few buildings, neighborhoods, streets, and people. Beyond the city limits, there is a forest. You think that if the city had some changes, the city would readily adapt. As you walk around the city, you take notice of the population, the clean streets, the commerce, and the services. You recall the builder asked about bugs so you also pay special attention to the ground and the few trees you find.
Upon your return, you describe what you saw and what you found. In your opinion, the city was ready for changes. The builder asks many questions and you respond with your experience in the city. Some of their questions about infrastructure and services were challenging so you express your regret in not gathering more information about them. The builder asks if you found any bugs. You reply that you found no bugs.
Surprised, the builder asks, “Where did you look for bugs?”
“On the ground and in the trees. The ground was often covered in concrete and there were few trees.”
“Did you look under the concrete, or in the buildings?”
“I did not. Since I found bugs on the ground and in the trees in the pasture, that is where I looked for them in the city.”
The builder explains how the city is different from the pasture. While the bugs were easy to find in the pasture, bugs in the city may hide in buildings or houses. They may also hide in the way services operate in the city. The builder suggests you review information about how cities are different from pastures.
The builder expresses their disappointment in your report. They believe the changes to the city will be delayed because your information may not be accurate. They thank you and leave.
A few weeks later, the builder asks you to explore the city again. Not to be disappointed, they ask about your understanding of cities.
“I have explored cities occasionally and they contain many things that I don’t understand.”
The builder thanks you and says they know of another explorer more familiar with cities. They will ask them to explore the city.
Imagine YOU are the explorer. What would you do next?