by Marc H. Rudov
June 11, 2010
People tend to be tactical, not strategic, animals: they’d rather fight fires than prevent them. Procrastination and denial are their extinguishers of choice, at home and the workplace. BP’s foreseen disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, ruining lives like a predictable divorce, is but the latest example.
People delay divorce for years, loathing the embarrassment of confronting family and friends, fearing custody fights and wealth depletion. Alas, they drag their feet while accumulating more wealth to lose, while exposing their kids to more acrimony, before ending their caustic marriages. Strategic? Not.
The Price of Panic
A master at chess knows that strategy — thinking five moves ahead and preparing for obvious consequences — is key to victory. Yet, off the chessboard, he’ll likely live in the moment, or the past. Such is a universal counterproductive impulse that everyone must conquer.
For years, the US impotently dilly-dallied while Iran built nuclear capability, instead of moving to checkmate this dangerous nation. Now, it’s too late and too costly for the US to prevent a catastrophe. When Iran launches a nuclear missile, we all will pay a HUGE price.
Rudov’s Rule: The price of panic greatly exceeds the price of preparation; most people are willing to pay it.
It’s common for men and women to ignore red flags and continue dating; to stand on wedding altars, knowing they’re making mistakes; to return from honeymooning, rethinking their “until death do we part” vows, remaining silent, inching towards calamity. It doesn’t take a genius to grasp why the divorce rate is 50% (actually, it’s higher: California, Georgia, and several other states don’t report their divorce stats to the feds).
People know their relationships contain structural flaws that, eventually, will wreak havoc. Yet, they choose to delude themselves for months or years until irreversible, expensive disasters erupt — as they always do. They’re willing to pay the price of panic, and pay they do.
BP insiders, and Obama’s “watchdogs,” knew that the Deepwater Horizon well was functioning unsafely, with no remedies available for breach or cleanup, but kept pushing it to failure. Now, all of us are paying the high price of panic — financial, environmental, and emotional. A perfect metaphor for poorly constructed relationships that face eventual demise.
The NoNonsense Bottom Line
BP is a great marriage counselor: its Gulf of Mexico disaster teaches us what not to do. One ignores red flags at his peril. Divorce courts are filled with broken people who knowingly and willingly ignored red flags.
Always nip in the bud any structural problem, the moment it surfaces — even in the first phone conversation, when she voices her self-aggrandizing entitlement to your cash. Entitlement, as well as the eagerness to oblige it, is a sign of unfixable gross incompatibility.
it’s not just about you. The next time you see the visage of an
oil-laden pelican, think of how your predictable divorce will
affect your children. Sometimes, they don’t fully recover.
Courtesy: Carolyn Cole, LA Times | June 2010
I’m not suggesting that miserable, poorly matched spouses stay married — quite the contrary. I am suggesting that they never meet for date #2. The signs are always there. Heed them.
Be strategic. When you’re thinking, “drill, baby, drill,” remember BP: boinking price.