There’s a lot of emphasis in our society on keeping things simple. Sure, simple is better than complicated. But the right kind of simplicity is elusive. The American writer Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., said, “I would not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” I enjoy teaching and writing precisely because I am thrilled by the process of learning about issues and theories deeply enough to find the simplicity and beauty in the most complex enterprises.
Whether I’m teaching a class, working with a group of executives, writing an editorial, or speaking to a community group, I assume that my audience has plenty of enthusiasm, intellect, and energy to address the most complex topics of our time if I can do a good enough job of setting up the issue properly. That’s at the core of my professional training as a minister and lawyer.