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A Great Metaphor

I was re-reading my copy of the librarian’s comic book (graphic novel?), Rex Libris, because it has a cool metaphor about change in it:
Here’s an excerpt:
Barry: “Once upon a time, there were two bricklayers. okay? Imagine these two guys. . . brothers. The two of them have a pile of bricks each, and they can build whatever they want.
So the first one starts to lay bricks, first in a row then, offset, another row on top. The second broter just stands there and watches for a bit, then he critiques his brother.
“That’s exactly how everyone else lays bricks!” He says to his brother. “That is totally unoriginal. I’ve seen bricks laid like that in every building in the whole city. You copycoat!”
The first brother ignores him and continues to build. Layer after layer of bricks goes up. New patterns emerge in the layout of the bricks. Eventually a building starts to take shape. And people gather round. They gawk in awe. Why? Because even if the elements of the building are old, the sum of the parts is new, innovative, exciting, fresh. See?
Rex: What happened to the first brother? What was his building like? Did he build anything at all?
Barry: “No, not a blessed thing, my boy. You see, to build, you have to use what has gone before or you go nowhere. The sum is greater than the parts. You can build an architectural masterpiece but you have to use the innovations of the past to build the future! Well, sort of. No story is perfect, son!” ”
Anyway, this story rattled a few chairs in my attic. When you’re building the foundation for major change, and the naysayers say it looks like everything else, keep going. Listen but don’t stop. When they say it looks like the way we’ve always done it well. Keep striving to innovate and create. This little parable reminds me of the backstory to the homily, “Would those who say it can’t be done, get out of the way of those of us who are already doing it.”
You can buy issue one and two of Rex Libris here.
It practically subversive to add this to your graphic novel collection. Librarians should be lead characters in this genre! Kids should be tricked into reading about us (grin).

Posted on: February 21, 2006, 12:10 pm Category: Uncategorized

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