Thursday, March 31, 2011

360-Degree Compound Eyes

In my previous job, I was fortunate to meet many respectable supervisors who gave me valuable advice, most of which was very useful. Some of them phrased their advice in analogy rather than in direct suggestions or instructions. I found these analogies very useful, not only at the moment, but also in solving problems I had in my later experience. The most impressive advice was that I should have "360-degree-view compound eyes."

When a person becomes enthusiastic and focused on doing something, he or she tends to be narrow-sighted, leaving the person unable to see anything but the work he is concentrating on at that time. This is the moment in which obstacles are prone to hit from unexpected angles, ruining the work that was the person's exclusive focus. Having 360-degree-view compound eyes enables a person to look at a situation from all angles to better anticipate potential problems.

There is an ancient Chinese fable telling about how danger exists in our lives. Once upon a time, there was an aristocratic politician who enjoyed hunting. One day he went hunting and found a bird that he had not seen before. Wanting to get the bird, he took his bow and arrow and aimed at it.

Suddenly, the aristocrat became aware that the bird was focusing on something. The aristocrat found that there was a mantis on a leaf near the bird. The bird aimed a blow at the mantis. Taking a closer look, the hunter noticed that the mantis was trying to hunt a locust on the wood trunk.

The mantis was hunting the locust, and the bird was aiming at the mantis. The aristocratic hunter was trying to shoot the bird. He shuddered with horror because he felt that somebody or something else was trying to hunt him. He threw away his bow and arrow as he started to run. The hunter only wanted to get away from the place as soon as possible. A park guard caught him on his way back to his horse. This occurred in the national park where hunting was prohibited. The hunter was right; the park guard had been watching him as he focused on the bird.

The guard released the aristocrat because he was not a professional hunter. The aristocrat was lucky to learn to be wary of things behind him. He needed to learn to pay attention to all of his surroundings including both sides, the front, and behind him. He would not have gotten caught if he had compound eyes capable of seeing in every direction.

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