Scene: the Head Office. The Vulcan and the Engineer sit at small desks. The Un lounges on a beanbag chair. The Canter and the Shudoff sit properly erect in straight-backed chairs. Others lounge in comfortable chairs.

Vulcan: The Boss wants us to mull about self-growth.
Engineer: To quote the Vulcan, what is the objective?
Explorer: SelfGrowth is the name of a website.
Networker: It provides links to other sites that offer help in self-growth.
Vulcan: The Boss wants ideas about how to make sites like that more helpful to people.
Shudoff: People should not look for help with self-growth. Growing happens naturally.
Un: Just as naturally as weeds in a garden. With the objectives natural to weeds.
Vulcan: A garden grows to suit the objectives of the gardener.
Storyboarder: As usual, the story starts with the goal.
Hunter: If you don't know what the goal is, you won't know when you've won.
Canter: If you don't know what the goal is, you can't tell when you've lost.
Vulcan: If you don't know what the objective is, you won't know when you're helping.
Un: Or when you've been helped.
Owl: Who? Whose goals are we talking about?
Engineer: The people who look for help in self-growth.
Canter: You can't help them. They want different things.
Vulcan: Self-growth is an abstraction. It means different things to different people.
Engineer: Then you concretize. You help one person at a time.
Canter: You can't help them if they don't know what they want.
Un: You can help them figure out what they want.
Vulcan: You can help them understand the possibilities. To see the choices.
Shudoff: You should not make them choose. Just tell them what they should do.
Un: Will they do it?
Shudoff: Of course not. But they can't blame you if they don't follow your advice.
Vulcan: They can choose to follow your advice. Or not to follow your advice. They cannot avoid choosing.
Un: If you don't choose, something else will choose for you. It's your choice.
Engineer: People might want help in choosing.
Un: Or in knowing what they are choosing.
Engineer: They might want help in finding the road to the goal.
Canter: They can't be sure they will get to the goal.
Engineer: They might want help in adapting.
Un: In negotiating with Reality.
Networker: In the bounce-back routine.
Canter: You can't call bounce-back a routine. People don't always do it.
Un: Only those who succeed.
Hunter: Have we succeeded?
Vulcan: We have only begun. We have found parts that might go into self-growth.
Engineer: We have cut the problem into bite-sized pieces.
Un: Success is when the parts come together. Just as with the head. Unity in diversity.
Organ music. Voice over. Tune in next month, when we hear the Canter say: "We can't help them. It's too complicated."

Author's Bio: 

Selby Evans was formerly Professor of Psychology at Texas Christian University and an independent consultant in behavioral research. He retired some years ago. Not yet having attained the age of senility, he now provides consulting to the Applied Cognitive Research Lab at Texas Christian University and maintains a website,, intended to disseminate the findings of applied cognitive research to people interested in self-improvement, self-growth, self-awareness, and self-direction.