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Columbus’s Egg

KD Pic May 2013

We get so engrossed in playing catch-up that we lose sight of the fact that the landscape has changed and a new set of principles has taken hold of our existence, writes Kamal Dimachkie.


April 30, 2013 3:05 by

The pursuit of happiness often blinds us to a new reality, so that we often miss the facts. Ever since the meltdown of 2008, most of us have been battling a changing economic model in the hope of restoring life to what it used to be before.

This is understandable, considering that it is reflexive behavior in an attempt to restore a state of health as we understand it, and as we have been accustomed to, at the first sign that what we have for so long taken for granted is at risk of being taken away from us. We do it while wearing one or more hats; as an individual, the head of a family, as an employee, the head of an organisation, a member of government or an entrepreneur.

We get so engrossed in playing catch-up that we lose sight of the fact that the landscape has changed and a new set of principles has taken hold of our existence.

To continue down this path is to refuse to accept that unless at least some of our behaviour changes, we are headed down a dangerous crevasse from which we are unlikely to emerge unscathed – if at all. It sounds rather dramatic, but what is at play all around us is no less so. The trouble is that we are so engrossed in halting the slide, in catching up, or steadying whatever is so quickly spinning out of control that we seem not to consider, let alone accept, that some of the changes are our new realities, and that if they are not here to stay, they need to at least run their respective courses before further change – more positive change, one would hope – is brought about.

Baruch Spinoza, one of the 17th century’s great rationalist philosophers, said: “Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.” Applying this lesson has recently made me ease off, very reluctantly I hasten to add, on expressing my displeasure with the rapid ascent of greed, the entrenchment of blind procurement practices, and the global arrival of the age of the squeeze, where everyone and everything gets squeezed by those above and those in a position to squeeze.

Recognising that the new reality leads us to appreciate that at a time of little, or no, growth it is understandable that investors and shareholders, often this means the average Joe who has invested money in the financial markets, are squeezing corporations for higher returns. This beautiful application of trickle-down economics makes its way from the very top of the ladder, passing through my CEO, and his CEO, all the way to people like me, and you. Along the way, procurement – representing businesses – does its job and applies the pressure to extract more value and efficiency.

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