I know of no better imagery for the abundance of information available to us than fountains. Each is distinct in its own way. Powerful with respect to the amount of water each pushes to incredible heights. Seemingly static given the fact that upon your return, they always look the same. Even though each drop of water has traveled through its many paths of going up and coming down.
The fountains in the picture above are spatially separate. Each is distinct while seemingly very similar. Powerful enough to push water far into the air.
Consider each fountain unique. One for golf. Another for baking, investment, or backgammon. Music, art, statistics, or religion. Subject matter experts in any of these helps propel the information found in each far into the air. Passionate, focused, and distinct much like the fountains we see above.
Yet without knowing, we never see most fountains. Nor do we ever stay long enough by one, to see the spray of drops of knowledge they give off throughout the day. We tend to cling to only one. For it’s much easier and more comforting to be only by one.
Often I hear the phrase “I saw on Tik Tok” or “Facebook says” in conversation among friends. Powerful fountains for sure. But lacking in any depth to help you develop your curiosity further. Manipulated by algorithms, the information we see is a combination of what is popular and what we pay attention to when shown something new.
Our challenge is not to stand by a fountain as if it is the only source of information. But to recognize that there are many within walking distance of the one we chose to focus on. Books, podcasts, our initiation of search on the internet or YouTube how-to videos, blogs, Substack articles, and so on are all available to us. The difference though between a social media fountain and the ones just mentioned is our intent to learn and explore something new.
Will we walk and explore a different fountain of information? Developing our curiosity takes patience and the confidence to believe that our journey will yield something new and helpful in the end. With time, the more fountains we explore, the better our problem-solving skills and the less emotional we approach new situations in our lives.
For we develop a respect and skill of understanding nuance, detail, and how much we really do not know by looking for and stopping to enjoy each new fountain of information. Valuable insight from exploring different fountains is that each has its own perspective on what they focus on. Giving us an opportunity to see just how temporary different perspectives can be depending on context.
Reminding us just how beautiful, complex, and multi-dimensional life truly is. Giving each of us a chance to appreciate much more of life, by stopping by many fountains to help us more clearly see the uniqueness in others that they too wish we could see.