The Forest and The Trees

Of all the books we read Twelve By Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond The American Dream by William Powers was by far my favorite. One of the themes of the book that struck me most was Powers’ struggle between doing and being. After years of working in international development aid (which he reflected about greatly in the book) he was struggling to see the good he was doing by living in the 12×12 cabin and simply “being.” He reflected on Ghandi’s famous quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and began to realize that being the way you wish the world to be is an important step in changing it. Not just to change it but to also fully understand it. He was looking at the micro level of his small patch of land in North Carolina, but he was also striving to see the macro effects that affect the global community. This theme reminded me of a quote my economics professor used this semester that I really enjoyed “I want you to see the forest and the trees,” instead of just seeing the forest through the trees as the average saying goes.

So here is the watercolor drawing I made to represent this quote and theme.

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