When Depth is Important

In my last class of Theory of Interest, I began describing an idea that we had already learned in a very complex, convoluted way when a student interjected, “Why wouldn’t we just do it the easy way? When would we ever want to use this method?”

I answered him honestly, and told him that in the real world, you would never use this complicated method.  Then, I used the opportunity for a teaching moment about depth.

We can all walk away from an amazing presentation in which we felt we learned a lot, but what we have actually received is a surface level understanding.  Sometimes, that is all we need or desire.

Until it comes time to apply it, talk about it, or write about it. At this point, you are slapped in the face with a huge disconnect from seeing someone else apply it, talk about it, and write about it, believing you can do the same, and then ending up like Homer here:

Depth becomes important.

In my own life, I have been reading all I can about how money corrupts our government. If you’ve spent any length of time with me, you’ve heard me talk about it. The depth I’ve had to go to in order to do that much is vast. There is so much more that has moved me that I want to share, but I haven’t gone to the depth I need to in order to convey it in a sensible manner.

The best thing I’ve noticed about getting off of social media, is that I’m talking to people more. I’m engaging in conversation more. I find reading and writing a very important part of gaining depth, but I’ve been missing out on discourse. This is a key part of personal growth.

Have you seen a good documentary lately that was moving? Could you speak at length about it, and bring me to the same level of heart-rending emotion that the documentary brought you to? Probably not, unless you pick up a book or two or three about it, write about it (in a journal or blog), and practice communicating it to others.  This is when depth is important.

3 thoughts on “When Depth is Important

  1. Great points here. We've all experienced the feeling of trying to describe a interesting concept or a great book to someone else, only to realize halfway through that we don't really understand it well enough to explain why it's compelling. Depth is hard to acquire and therefore valuable.

    Like

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