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Thread: The threshold of action vs the comfort of inaction.

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    The threshold of action vs the comfort of inaction.

    Is there a point where physiological limitations are overrun by necessary action to change the course of events? If someone went to steal your car, would you risk getting killed to get it back? What if your child was in a car seat in the back? That was the opening scene of the movie Courageous that I watched this weekend. One of the characters refused to let his truck be stolen and held onto the steering wheel through the driver’s side window while it was driving away… all to protect his daughter?

    On the flip side, a last week a local banks was robbed and a police officer was run over and killed by the get-away car. The wife of one of the two fugitives, who were both killed in a gun battle, wrote a letter to a local TV news station apologizing for her husband’s actions, but also mentioned that she had cancer and that he was a terrific father who would tuck his kids in every night. It made me wonder if he robbed this bank, along with two others, to cover his wife’s medical bills? I doubt it, but the question does continue to linger.

    Granted those are two extremes, but what about a lesser example. You know you need to get in shape or you run the risk of serious health issues? You are behind in some bills and local department stores are hiring seasonal help for weekends? You know that you need to grow yourself and you knowledge base at work if you want to succeed and you know the books and material you should be reading.

    I guess there are two questions here: At what point is the pain of staying the same greater than the pain of change, and at what point does the risk outweigh the consequences?

    I don’t think many of us have to deal with the extreme cases but what about the lesser situations. Would you take a second job if it would result in you getting out of debt quicker so a spouse could be a stay at home parent? Would you focus on learning a new skill that was difficult if it could result in a higher pay? Would you alter your lifestyle if it would result in being a better parent or spouse? Would you change your habits if you knew that the alternative could kill you prematurely?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Without getting too deep in the details I was struck by how this question applies as much to the personal decisions we all make throughout our lives as it does to the challenges we face as a country (and dare I say, as a planet?) currently.

    At what point do we consider drastic action to change the course and direction of a society/economy/whatever that seems to be heading down a path of self-destruction versus staying the course and trying to rescue a failing (or flailing) system? I think about this quite a bit with respect to the discussion of "how to get the economy back on track." We measure economic health in terms of economic growth, we look at indicators like homes built and sold in a given period, we rank the health of the economy on Wall Street activity, we fear allowing a dying industry to die because of the unemplyment we will have to deal with and so prop them up to postpone the inevitable. But maybe we are looking at and measuring the wrong things. Maybe we need to rethink what a successful economy looks like and how it functions.

    When I think about all of this, I find michaelskis comments seem completely applicable:

    At what point is the pain of staying the same greater than the pain of change, and at what point does the risk outweigh the consequences?
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Without getting too deep in the details I was struck by how this question applies as much to the personal decisions we all make throughout our lives as it does to the challenges we face as a country (and dare I say, as a planet?) currently.

    At what point do we consider drastic action to change the course and direction of a society/economy/whatever that seems to be heading down a path of self-destruction versus staying the course and trying to rescue a failing (or flailing) system? I think about this quite a bit with respect to the discussion of "how to get the economy back on track." We measure economic health in terms of economic growth, we look at indicators like homes built and sold in a given period, we rank the health of the economy on Wall Street activity, we fear allowing a dying industry to die because of the unemplyment we will have to deal with and so prop them up to postpone the inevitable. But maybe we are looking at and measuring the wrong things. Maybe we need to rethink what a successful economy looks like and how it functions.
    I could not agree more.

    While it was not the direction that I anticipated the thread going, I think that you are right on target. Some economists think that we will face drastic changes and the sooner we implement them, the smoother the process will be. Granted it will still be difficult, but putting policies into place at the government level will only make such a transition more difficult in the long run.

    I was talking with a friend about risk vs reward last night. His wife is a stay at home mom of a baby that is only a few months and he is working about 100 hours a week with 3 jobs and will be doing so non-stop for the next year. But at the end of the year, he will be completely debt free, own his own house free and clear, and have set up financial structure that will allow him live extremely comfortable later in life. People have been giving him grief because he is not at home helping his wife more... but in early 2013, he will be able to go down to 30 hours a week (maybe less) for the rest of his working career. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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