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Parable: The Silo

Imagine, for a second, that you’re standing in the middle of a huge round room. As you look up you can just barely see (way way way up high) that there’s a ceiling. It’s pretty far up there, but you can still tell that it’s there. On the walls all around you in this silo are doors. They vary in size, shape, appearance, and condition and there are doors all the way up as far as you can see. Like in an old castle from a fairy tale, there is a spiraling staircase built directly into the walls – so you can get to any of those doors at any time that you like. 

As you start to examine some of the doors you notice that some of them even have signs. Some have signs that give a general layout of what’s on the other side. Some even have signs that indicate people who have gone through that door.

Now, upon your examination, you notice that something is strange – the doors seem to be shrinking or moving.  With a little bit of focused observation you notice that the doors are not changing but, in fact, the floor that you’re standing on is – ever so slowly – moving upward. So, in essence you’re being elevated at a pace that’s so slow that it’s hard to tell that it's even happening. However the elevating is consistent and there seems to be no way of stopping it. It doesn’t take you too long to realize that eventually the floor will reach that distant ceiling. Not anytime soon and not with great drama or fanfare, but it is inevitable. So you quickly come to the conclusion that figuring out a suitable door to exit this elevator is in your best interest. So, you start checking out some doors.

You of course have the option to stay on the elevator or even quickly investigate certain doors then return to the elevator, but beyond the great number of doors to look at, the elevator proves to be a very unfulfilling ride with an inevitable and undramatic end.

  flickr photo by _Zeta_

flickr photo by _Zeta_

Since the elevator moves so slowly, you have time to open doors to see what’s on the other side, maybe even go in and explore a little with the option to get back on the elevator if it hasn’t moved up too much. 

After riding upward for little while and examining here and there, the question becomes “which is the best door for me?”  If you spend too much time exploring behind one door, then you may get trapped into a room that ultimately isn’t as great as you thought it was at first. If you make a snap decision on a door’s outward appearance or quick peek in, then you may miss out on what could be the perfect room for you.

Some elevator riders are fortunate enough to get help. By speaking a magical password, many of the doors open up and have passionate representatives step out to explain that they chose the room that they stepped out of and could not be happier. They then go on to explain who they are, what their interests are, and why that room was such a good fit for “who they are as an individual.”

That magical password is “idwil.”