Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 08/30/2021
A “threshold” can be defined as “a limit beneath which a stimulus causes no action.” Individuals have differing thresholds of pain, for example, or tolerance of boredom, or noise. Some refuse to cross the threshold despite the fact it would bring longer-term relief.
For example, people who are so in fear of a dentist and needles in the gums will endure a toothache rather than undergo the brief discomfort that will eliminate the long-term pain. Many relationships which should be severed are maintained despite the long-term agony because the pain of divorce in the short-term is paralyzing.
No matter what your politics, the US withdrawal in Afghanistan is appalling, horrifying, and deadly. If we had been willing to accept the short-term pain of a fighting, phased withdrawal, perhaps the longer term pain of people stranded, persecuted, and murdered in the months ahead could have been significantly decreased. If we had been willing to admit that Afghan forces would not fight for a corrupt government, perhaps the country wouldn’t have collapsed into chaos in a matter of days.
Some first-world governments seem to believe that they can circumvent the pain of living with Covid (as if they’ve “failed” if they can’t eradicate it) and have adopted the long-term pain of isolation, severe business and social restrictions, and the inevitable long-term agony of businesses and lives ruined.
It’s the difference between Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill.
Please pass the cigars and whiskey.
Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave. —Mary Tyler Moore
Pain is weakness leaving the body. —Chesty Puller
The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory. —Ted Engstrom