I was listening to someone talk about savings plans recently, and they said that you shouldn’t start this type of plan unless you could afford it now, and that you could go on affording it into the future. I wondered then – how would anyone know that?
Some years ago, it was assumed that once you started working in certain industries you could stay with it for life. But that proved to be an illusory guarantee as times changed, industries closed and new ones took over.
In human society there are no real guarantees, and yet we as a society strive to make ourselves safer all the time.
Recently I started to notice hand sanitizer tissues being dispensed next to the shopping carts at some food stores. The call for them – and they were being used – is another way society is looking for guarantees. The underlying thought seems to be “if I can keep myself safe from the germs of others, then I can guarantee that I won’t get an infection”.
And yet that guarantee is also illusory – yes, it may protect us from those particular germs, but what about all the others there are in the environment?
It is a natural instinct to want to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and that instinct is one that has served the human race well. But to look for guarantees of that protection is where the trouble starts.
Because in looking for guarantees we limit the possibilities that the world has to offer. Even should the guarantee we find be sustained, it often turns out that this is not what we needed; only what we wanted.
We see this so often in people, who go all-out for a guarantee of one sort of security, only to find that another part of their life is lacking. They strive, for example, for financial security, only to find that they have no one to share it with. Or they seek a guarantee of companionship by looking after others, only to find themselves dependent on others for financial security.
To look for a guarantee is never going to be productive in the real world, everything is a matter of risks and rewards.
And the world is wonderful, when we are open to the lack of guarantees it provides us.