fragility

Over the weekend I sustained a minor injury playing soccer. It’s the equivalent of a dead leg (bruise), except it’s in the middle of my pectoral muscle. Until this week, I never realized how many simple movements the pectoral muscles support. I mean, they help you do everything.

It brings to mind many past injuries on seemingly insignificant body parts. They don’t seem like a big deal at first, but they turn out to be quite painful with everyday movements. This highlights the lack of redundancy built into our bodies. We evolved on a shoestring budget with only the tools we absolutely need – except maybe the appendix and tonsils.

Sometimes our lifestyles can evolve this way, too. Take personal finance for example. As our income grows, we try to improve our lives by leveling up – a better house, a better car, a better wardrobe, more vacations, a maid. It’s tempting to keep increasing our level until there’s nothing left over.

Another example is our time commitments: We keep adding commitments until there’s no time left. We assume our involvement in more things means more impact.

In both of these examples, we end up spread pretty thin. One bump in the road or worse, a black swan event can take us down. We’re fragile.

I’m feeling fragile these days and taking some time to look at each facet of life. Where are the weak spots? Where do we lack redundancy? Where are we fragile?

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