We often make goals or prioritize our actions (for the new year, for the day, for a lifetime). I recently read an interesting article titled, ‘Elegance and the Art of Less’ by Matthew May. In it, he talks about examining the things we do not do, or do not want to do. (The essay has a good story about Jim Collins making a not-to-do list along with a to-do list every year, which struck me as a nifty idea).
May points out how sculptors, scientists, musicians, architects all use blank space or ‘what is not said/present’ as much as they do in what is there. This also leads to looking at the heart of any issue or endeavour and trying to identify the presence of simplicity in a complex situation.
Writing about Aravind is challenging. There are so many wonderful stories, so much data, so much that seems ‘extremely important’. How is one to choose what should go into the book? Reading May, I was struck by how, while we emphasize Aravind’s core values, what is also striking about the organization is what it does not do. In some ways, the ‘blank space’ around Aravind’s actions speaks as loudly (by its very absence), as the practices in themselves.
And, yes, there is a simplicity (and great beauty) in what it does choose to do….