Some people, when confronting an abstract idea, ask “what can I do with this, practically, concretely, in specific applications?”
Other people, when confronting a concrete practicality, ask “what can I learn from this, theoretically, abstractly, generally?”
Unfortunately, all too many people in the business of concrete practicality do not regularly confront abstract ideas because they lack a taste for the theoretical, and too many people in the business of abstract theory do not regularly apply their theories in concrete situations where they need to affect change, because they lack a taste for the practical.
Had I understood myself earlier, I might have protected myself from the harassment of the business world, but I think I might have followed a better-beaten curriculum. Then again, I might have travelled further along a paved road and come to where it could be paved further. But then… is “further along the same path” really where we want to go? I don’t know. My curriculum has been a mixture of accident and intensely urgent questions that seem to erupt up from beneath myself in response to my efforts to live this practical life I’ve blundered into.