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  • Brendon Birch

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Chapter 1

"If the map doesn't agree with the ground, the map is wrong."



Livingston opens with an account of his days serving as a lieutenant in the army. Whilst studying a map he’s asked by his platoon sergeant if he’d located where they were yet.


“Well, the map says there should be a hill over there but I don’t see it.” His response caused Livingston to recognise he’d heard a profound truth: “If the map don’t agree with the ground, then the map is wrong.”


He goes on to highlight that “over the many years I have spent listening to people’s stories, especially all the ways in which things can go awry, I have learned that our passage through life consists of an effort to get the maps in our heads to conform to the ground on which we walk.” 

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