Without a Vision People Perish; Without a Vehicle Vision Languishes

Vickie and I had a short essay about vision rejected recently.

It took us a while to understand why.

They wanted vision as ‘content.’  We imagined vision as ‘vehicle.’

Vickie and I agree about the importance of describing the details of a vision. The last three decades of our work has been fuelled by rethinking and reimagining a good life for people with disabilities and their families.

We have discovered something equally important – the vehicle must be equally visionary.

Every vision needs a vehicle that matches its magnificent aspiration. It should, for example, be roomy enough for strange bedfellows, unlikely suspects, prickly pears, suspicious minds and late comers.

If the better world you imagine includes these people why not make room for them now? You never know when their talents might come in handy. In fact they always will.

The biblical exhortation, “Without a vision people perish” is true.

Equally true, without a vehicle people languish.


“… those who think metaphorically are enabled to think truly because the shape of their thinking echoes the shape of the world.”

     Jan Zwicky author of Wisdom and Metaphor

“We’re all in this together
So keep moving don’t stop, keep moving don’t stop…”

     Sam Roberts “We’re All in This Together.” Listen here. Buy here.


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  1. Linda Perry

    This is great Al. Thanks for a gem to start the week with inspiration. I think one of the challenges we face is the risk of thinking there is only one vehicle. There is so much possibly in a variety of makes and models. As long as the vehicles can truly have a common understanding of the vision.

    • Al Etmanski

      Thanks Linda – I’m beginning to think a common understanding isn’t very important – maybe some kind of general understanding that we have a common problem or challenge is enough. That’s why the emphasis on the vehicle or container (literal or metaphorical). If we get that right the differences resolve or diminish in favour of mutual respect.
      We spend so much time on vision and value by the time we are finished we’ve excluded or made it difficult for others to join in.
      What do you think?

  2. Donna Thomson

    Fascinating! Great beginnings of a rich discussion here. We need more vehicles of all kinds. I need to think about this idea in the context of my own vision. Thank you, Al!

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