Word of the Month: Elaborate
In Paris, school begins next week, the first Tuesday of September. Although école does conjure up images of friends, I mostly think of classes, homework, and the recurring feedback teachers give children: “Approfondir!” Elaborate!
What does "elaborate" really mean?
Who’s job is it to
elaborate? Just the students...or
teachers and parents as well?
Where else does the concept apply? At work? At home?
According to Webster-Mirriam’s, the verb “elaborate”
means “to give more details about something; to discuss something more fully; to
bring (something, such as an idea or a plan) to a more advanced or developed
state.” Like the rebus: (m)e works hard to overstuff with insight.
More or Less?
Fundamentally, this is a frustrating
word. The reference point is past,
insufficient performance. Why bother
with more if one has enough? Criteria for success remain fuzzy. It’s like John D. Rockefeller’s answer when
asked how much money is enough: “Just a
little bit more.” The end can never be
More Because You're Worth It
And yet, asking another to elaborate on
their ideas conveys confidence in the person.
We ask for more because we believe in that person’s greater
So how will “elaborate” change my life this month? I’ll chose
To clarify instructions (with the kids to start) and the basis for them as if casting a vision
To challenge others to fully develop their thoughts, even to the point where they perceive the link between their beliefs and corresponding actions
Is that sufficiently clear and engaging?