Byron's Babbles

The Design Of The Pencil

Posted in Amor Towles, Educational Leadership, Eraser, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development, Pencil by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on December 5, 2021

Another great line from Amor Towles’ incredible book The Lincoln Highway, was about the design of the pencil: “One end is for saying something, the other for taking it back.” At first I thought about how it is too bad we’re not designed like a pencil, but then I decided that would probably not be a good idea. That would be too easy. We could say anything and then just take it back. Then we would not need to think about what we were going to say at all – not cool!

As it is now, our words matter. We don’t get to take them back or erase them. It’s kind of like when an attorney says something in a courtroom and then withdraws it or the judge asks the jury to disregard it. That’s really impossible – you can’t un-hear something. Even disregarding something you’ve heard is downright impossible. So, choosing what we say wisely is very important. We can’t just erase it.

Also, we can’t erase, subtract, or undo decisions, but we can make new ones. So many times we try to erase the past – we need to just take we learn and go on to new decisions. Remember, we were not designed to be a pencil.