On Balance

It is only natural to want to grow, learn, gain knowledge, improve. This is truly living. Every improvement, insight, gain in enlightenment even, comes at a cost.

That cost might be time to learn a skill, experience, attention or purely financial. Often however we think that we can cut out the time required to learn. We are told (or sold) that we can fast track, learn the hacks even. 12 week Ironman programs, 10 weeks to your marathon PB, 6 weeks to your beach body…. sadly they come at a cost (often beyond the financial). We short cut and thus ignore the foundation (or base) required. This is not the way to true mastery or excellence. It is a thin veneer of pretense. And we are only kidding our selves.

However as we climb up our slope of choosing we realise there is another balancing factor. Responsibility. The rich, powerful, learned, strong all have a greater responsibility than the poor, uneducated and weak.

I don’t mean to describe it as static but rather it is dynamic, backwards and forwards play, balance. As this dynamic is maintained we all move forward and up.

Let’s return to the individual. Tempting as it may, hiding costs only works for a while, sometimes for a long while. Outsourcing is funny like that. We get the benefit without many of the costs. The costs do not go away though they just move to a different balance sheet. Taking production off shore (because labour is cheaper) for example ultimately costs my community in that I do not employ that community and they might not support me etc. Environmental costs seem to be like that too. Far too easily hidden on some foreign balance sheet. It blows me away the SA bought nuclear waste from Europe under the previous regime. A friend of mine remarked that he would now have to look after the environment because he was no longer an anonymous passer through. NIMBY

There is a funny tipping point what is considered fair/value for money. It seems to have very little to do with the product or service in question. I had somebody ask for a discount this week before we had even discussed a price. I apologised because I did not know how to continue the conversation. Ultimately as consumer we want to get “a deal”. Maybe we want to feel like we are tipping the scales in our favour.

I will close with gradient as a judge of character. I am amused by how ambitions seem not to be in balance with people’s current place or past experience. I have often been wrong and I will admit that. But I am far more interested in what you have done that what you want to do in the future.

Maybe I should stop here and move onto something else. I have written here and here about gradient.

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