This post was accidentally stuck in my drafts folder and forgotten until posting “Small and Slow” and “Semicolon” reminded me. The text is a series of messages (some slightly expanded) that I posted to Twitter on June 9, 2012.
The following thoughts came after graduation at The Children’s School on Thursday, June 7, a beautiful, joyful, human event, enhanced by its imperfections.
That joy is coupled with a sadness as they and I move on.
For me, the Class of 2012 consists not only of the seven young people that graduated, but also the two middle-aged people (@carwaiseto and me) who have spent the last three years with them.
The advantages of such a small group far outweigh the disadvantages.
(Edward T. Hall’s Beyond Culture makes a strong case for groups of eight to twelve and the compromises made by scaling beyond that.)
They [the members of the Class of 2012] understand their intellectual prowess should be secondary to their character.
They are friendly considerate, empathetic, and supportive, in part the product of the small class size. (Cf. “Empathy”)
While they have their place, as a culture we overvalue independence and largeness. Interdependence and intimacy are underappreciated.
I tend to like places and programs that are working “under capacity.” The quiet and lack of crowds are a large part of that attraction.
I like the stilliness and intimacy that result from the small crowds.
I will forever prefer a small group to have a conversation with over a large audience to address.
Yet our culture and economy reward scale. Subsequently the experiences and products that we create become dehumanized.
Short story: Please advocate for slow and small options.