“One Source of Bad Information” by Robert Bly

There’s a boy in you about three
Years old who hasn’t learned a thing for thirty
Thousand years. Sometimes it’s a girl.

This child has to make up its mind
How to save you from death.
He says things like: “Stay home. Avoid elevators. Eat only elk.”

You live with this child but you don’t know it.
You are in the office, yes, but live with this boy
At night. He’s uninformed, but he does want

To save your life. And he has. Because of this boy
You survived a lot. He’s got six big ideas.
Five don’t work. Right now he’s repeating them to you.

Robert Bly

2 thoughts on ““One Source of Bad Information” by Robert Bly”

  1. This reminds me of something I have been working on lately. There is a you tube video about non-violent communication which got me thinking about learning to distinguish between needs and strategies.

    Avoid elevators, stay home, etc. are strategies to fulfill a need for safety. I have other needs besides the need for safety, that are unfulfilled by the “stay home” strategy.

    So I have been listening carefully to my feelings in order to accurately assess my various needs. This focus has also added an increase in my ability to assess the actual needs of others by looking beyond their ineffective strategies to what people might be feeling and what needs they may be attempting to meet.


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