Specializing In the Impossible

For me, it's always refreshing to spend a couple hours with Kenny Moore. Yesterday, I had another such opportunity.

The St. Matthias Employment Ministry had invited Kenny to be the guest speaker for a mini-retreat called "Keeping Your Sanity, Your Sense of Humor, and Your Soul in Today's Workplace." Attracting an audience of the unemployed, as well as some who are employed, Kenny shared his wisdom. Here are a couple of his points that deeply resonated with me.

Stop looking for answers - Most of us have been trained in problem solving. And we are good at it. We know how to find solutions. Trouble is, however, that the situations we are facing in today's economy (such as protracted unemployment) are not problems that have clear solutions anymore. Now we face predicaments, dilemmas that are ambiguous, uncertain. Stop looking for answers, Kenny says. They don't exist. Instead, look for movement.

Ask better questions - So what to do in the face of predicaments? Ask better questions, Kenny recommends. Not small questions. But rather big, bold, game-changing questions. Questions that may never be answered in our lifetimes. Such questions will generate innovative thinking and movement forward.

Specialize in the impossible - Kenny shared a quote from the poet Theodore Roethke: "What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible." That is, people who are comfortable (at least somewhat) with the ambiguity and uncertainty of predicaments. People who have the courage to abandon the search for answers. People who ask big questions.

In todays' world and workplaces, Kenny says that often we are faced with nothing less than Mystery, an ancient word rooted in the idea of closing one's lips in the presence of something enigmatic, unknowable. Perhaps even the working of the Divine in our lives.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Posted October 25, 2009


Nimmy said…
Excellent post!! Loved reading it....! Need to bookmark it and revisit it often! Thanks so much for pointing me to this post...
Terrence Seamon said…
Glad you like it, Nimmy.

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