User:Shereth/Don't lose sight of the forest for the trees

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Don't forget that there is a whole forest behind this big tree

According to the old adage, one should not lose sight of the forest for the trees, but what does this mean? A forest is full of beautiful trees for the beholding, but when one becomes so engrossed in looking at the individual trees, they may forget that each tree is merely one of thousands in the forest and thus lose sight of the big picture.

Here on Wikipedia, it is easy for us to occasionally become so involved in the little details of what is going on that we lose sight of the big picture, and we forget what we are trying to do here. When editors find themselves becoming too engrossed in one little detail, one little project, or one little policy, it might be a good time to step back, take a breath and try to remember what we are all here for.

The Wikipedia Forest[edit]

The forest that is Wikipedia is made up of five big trees upon which everything else is based, but while it may have been born from simple beginnings, the forest has grown. We now have an entire forest of policies and guidelines by which we operate, covering everything from notability to neutrality, from civility to consensus, from style to substance. There certainly isn't anything wrong with this, and in fact each and every one of these little rules and guidelines is necessary for us to come together and build the quality, free online encyclopedia that we are all trying to enjoy.

Sometimes, we find it makes things a little easier on us to break things down even further, surrounding all of our bigger trees with little ones that make things add up. Sometimes it can be easy to get lost in the forest of rules and guidelines, and we can't find what we are looking for. Instead of one big notability guideline, we've been provided with a whole slew of smaller ones for specific topics, notability guidelines for music and books and groups and the like. Sometimes even those get split up into smaller categories themselves, each one serving to help us find our way through the forest.

Getting stuck on a tree[edit]

When wandering through a forest, sometimes we can't help but to get caught up in staring at one beautiful tree, and eventually forget that we're in a whole forest full of them. It can happen here too.