We look at the iceberg but overlook that the majority of its bulk lies under the surface.
72. 144. 67. 94. 78. 103.
Most likely for me, 83.
It’s ironic how much emphasis we put on the score written on the card at the end of a round. Like that number matters at all.
Okay, okay. Maybe it carries some weight. Empty weight.
That number doesn’t tell the story of the round. It doesn’t hold any context. Did 3-putt your way to a 67, or did you put on a clinic and card an 86?
You see what I mean? The number tells you nothing. I’ve had it go both ways. Feeling like I’m shooting the round of my life, can’t hit it any better, and shoot 95. I’ve also felt like I’d never held a golf club before, let alone find the center of the face, yet card my personal best.
Everyone knows golf is a fickle game but it’s one of the things I hate most about all sports. No matter what you like, greatness is measured by a number that has been unmoored from any meaning.
Take football for example, (American, that is). Teams make it to the playoffs based on their record, or the amount of games they win vs. how many they lose.
That record, however, doesn’t tell you whether they lost by 35 points or that they lost because the other team kicked a field goal in the last 2 seconds of the game.
Luckily, for us, the fans, the playoffs (and sports in general) generally have a way of shaking out so that the best team wins. The cream rises to the top, and everyone moves on none the wiser.
That’s the thing though. No one really knows. Unless you were in the middle of the action and devotedly paying attention, you can’t know the context.
Even down to an individual players thoughts, you can’t possibly know every detail. How can you determine whether they deserve to be in the playoffs or not? Based on an arbitrary number? Hmph.
It happens in every facet of life. Humans have a nagging desire to simplify matters so they can be easily comprehended. Whether it’s as silly as a golf score, or as serious as a war between Russia and Ukraine, humans impulsively want simple.
We steer clear of anything that requires work, and fail to even scratch the surface. We look at the iceberg but overlook that the majority of its bulk lies under the surface.
The Devil is in the details, and we mustn’t skim over them. Without digging into the details, we can never know the full story, and without the complete context, we can never achieve our full greatness.
By simply accepting the story that was handed to us, we are relinquishing any ability to add anything of value to that story, and without having the full context of that story we can’t possibly make educated decisions about how to proceed.
I won’t tell you what to think, but I will challenge you to think.