Satchmo’s Paradox Once, when asked to define jazz, the great Louis “Sachmo” Armstrong replied, “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” This is what I call Satchmo’s Paradox, which basically describes the conundrum we encounter when we try to define something and, in doing so, limit its ... Coordinator's Column
Coordinator's Column  |   May 01, 2003
Satchmo’s Paradox
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Coordinator's Column
Coordinator's Column   |   May 01, 2003
Satchmo’s Paradox
Perspectives on Hearing Conservation and Occupational Audiology, May 2003, Vol. 9, 1-2. doi:10.1044/hcoa9.1.1
Perspectives on Hearing Conservation and Occupational Audiology, May 2003, Vol. 9, 1-2. doi:10.1044/hcoa9.1.1
Once, when asked to define jazz, the great Louis “Sachmo” Armstrong replied, “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” This is what I call Satchmo’s Paradox, which basically describes the conundrum we encounter when we try to define something and, in doing so, limit its description to semantic terms which then, in turn, fail to define it. One such “it” close to my own heart is jazz. Another one equally close to my heart is diversity.
This paradox really hit home for me when I had to address the formation of the multicultural issues subcommittee for the ASHA 2000 Annual Convention. In theory, cultural issues should have been completely infused into every subcommittee developing the program for that Convention. However, reality soon took hold, and I was reminded that cultural diversity is not equally valued in the organization and still requires dedicated resources to continue to address these issues effectively. I was reminded of John Bruhn’s quote: “A healthy organization is one in which an obvious effort is made to get people with different backgrounds, skills, and abilities to work together toward the goal or purpose of the organization. While we have not accomplished this at a societal level, it is achievable at an organizational level.” Yet, even today, very few formal groups in today’s society have become effective in incorporating culturally diverse backgrounds, skills, and abilities in their organizational culture.
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