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Answered 2011-02-11 19:09:55

I belive it means you can see past the mayhem if you will into the heart of things. You know how they say it's what's on the inside that counts...You see people for who they really are as in true colors. I tried reseaching this meaning myself which led me to this question. I could be mistaken but I think I'm accurate as to the meaning. Hope this helps :O)

cannot see the wood for the trees and cannot see the forest for the trees

Prov. Cannot perceive the overview or important things because of concentrating too much on details. The information presented in this textbook is so disorganized that I can't see the wood for the trees. The politician's opponents claimed that she couldn't see the forest for the trees, because she spent so much time trying to solve minor problems.

See also: cannot, see, tree, wood

The above answer is incorrect. When people use the phrase 'can't see the forest for the trees' - it means that people are losing themselves in the details (trees) that you forget the larger picture or vision (forest). This phrase is very commonly used in business. Some people get so stuck in the details that the details become the overwhelming focus that sometimes leads towards a different solution such that you forget the original vision.

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