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Image by Gianandra Villa,

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The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery.

There is always more mystery.  Anais Nin


Hold on tightly refers to the intentional process of generating an explanation based on observation of phenomena and the application of theory.  Let go lightly refers to the willingness to alter or abandon an hypothesis that, on reflection, appears insufficient.  To accomplish these goals we must be both confident and humble, self-assured and modest.


As practitioners, we know little about the participants and the nature, history and impact of their dispute.  Our initial explanation for the dispute is therefore a carefully considered “best guess.”   It is, however, a crucial and necessary starting point.  We act as if our initial explanation is accurate.  As we learn about the participants and their dispute, our knowledge deepens.  Reflective practitioners then reconsider their hypothesis, relinquishing an explanation that, in light of new information or changed circumstances, is no longer relevant or useful.


The road to success is always under construction. Lily Tomlin

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