Aristotle said, "the greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor." In the realm of decision-making and choice, I argue that metaphor alone is not sufficient because it exists solely in the imagination, and not in the larger world of actions and consequences. (UPDATE 9/28: I say 'larger' because I really do believe the world is bigger than anything we can imagine. This is what makes living so exciting.)
If metaphors are the greatest things by far, then the leaders we entrust with decision authority need to use them with much greater precision and clarity.
The dictionary says metaphors "involve figures of speech or symbolism and do not literally represent real things." "Command" means to direct or control. To have command of metaphor is, in some sense, to be master of illusion.
They re-arrange the deck chairs before urging us not to jump ship, even as they welcome new folks on board and make sure nothing terrible happens on their watch.
Is anyone else confused by these voyages of speech? Would it help if I laid out the ground rules or showed you my roadmap?
What these expressions really mean is,
I give up. I have no idea what I am talking about. Think I'll go sailing.
Now I understand.