Broad brushes get a bad wrap. How come no one ever says someone is painting with a broad brush in a good way?
Think of it, though. Suppose you are painting the side of a house. You don’t go for those little craft brushes your mom used to buy you for water colors. If a sprayer is out of the question, what you use instead is a broad brush.
The reason for this is simple enough, at least when we’re talking about actual painting. If a larger surface area needs painted the same color, it helps to have a brush that applies more of that color to more area quicker.
Time and attention are valuable in proportion to how much of them we have and what else needs doing. So you paint with a broad brush to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time, unless you’re being paid by the hour perhaps.
It’s like that with broad topics too. To talk intelligently about them and hope to be heard, you have to paint with a broad brush for the main body. And once you come to the edgework between the main part of the wall and the trim, let’s say, you probably do want to switch to a brush that will do a quicker and finer job of painting sharp lines. But the broad brush has its place, and we mustn’t forget that.
There is no escaping the fact that you are well within the bounds of reasonableness and good taste to work in generalities when the scope in question is a general one. Sometimes all there is for it is having several brushes you switch back and forth between depending on the application. And, yes. That includes having a broad brush when the situation requires one.
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