Exploring the givens is something we need to do in order to challenge those things that sit in the background and quietly undermine us.

Whether at home or at work, we tend to focus on things around us that are changing, or that are connected to our own actions, because that is where much of the information that matters to us tends to be located. Life is much simpler if we filter out things that appear to be unchanging or irrelevant. Occasionally we must explore the givens.

But when the ‘stable, irrelevant background’ contains important information, this simplification breaks down. Many ‘problems’ become ‘problematic’ because the background contained potentially important information we did not notice until it was too late.