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Transcript of this video:
In his book on indigenous wisdom, Sand Talk, the writer Tyson Yunkaporta says something very early on that really stopped me in my tracks.
He talked about the challenge of trying to communicate his ideas with marks on pages representing speech…
because he comes from an oral culture and it’s very challenging to people like me, brought up in the West, where the written word is the kind of byword of intelligence, the ability to read these squiggles on paper, and then make these squiggles on paper skillfully, is the absolute sort of beginning point of social acceptability.
And typically the production of a book is the mark of a certain kind of threshold of intelligence.
And Yunkaporta is really challenging this.
I like it because I think we so over-reverence things that can be written down and listed.
I was talking this morning about the UN’s inner development goals and although I quite like the idea of inner growth, when I read those goals, these long lists of idealised goals, I start to feel a bit resistant and incompetent.
I feel the same way about the four or five pages that I think it’s the International Coaching Federation has listed all the core competencies of a coach or I guess a facilitator.
I read those lists and I feel like, well, ironically, I feel they make me feel like I’m incompetent.
Well, actually, I think I’m quite competent as a coach and facilitator, but having these skills listed and enumerated, although they individually make a kind of sense, taken as a whole, they feel disconnected from what I think is
– and I think this is true of genuine human processes –
they are substantially intuitive and the act of writing them all down and listing them is reduces them and actually, I think, disconnects us from what it is to be truly human.