Extreme balance

Instinct naturally tells us that more is better. If we have one dollar, wouldn’t two be better? If we can help one person in need, shouldn’t we push the limit to extend to supporting two, or three, or more? Even as many of us are feeling the hangover brought on by holiday spending, eating and revelry, we can’t shake the instinct that there is never too much. We transition from newscasters telling us how to prepare boundless, calorie-laden repast to those same folks admonishing us to get in shape and “lose those holiday pounds.” The sale of extreme workout DVD’s will skyrocket in the coming weeks.

Certainly, we live a life of conflicting priorities. It is wonderful, even necessary, to gather with family and enjoy abundance by the hearth. And, it is wonderful, even necessary, to maintain an ideal weight to preserve and strengthen our bodies. But how do we find the balance between the two? Is moderation lost in a world of competitive priorities?

Imagine this example. The cost of college education, especially if on-going or extended, often drives graduates out of the market place rather than into it. Because universities have not kept costs in line with inflation, are kids “overbuilding” their skills for the market? If the market demand for traditional degrees is far exceeded by the quantity of new grads, is the effect a reduction in value (even as tuition and debt to the student and her family is ballooning)?

Certainly education is critically important, like housing, food and family. But isn’t creating a standard of university degree production that attempts to build an absolute egalitarian distribution where everyone pursues the same kind of training simply trapping kids, their families and our government into a thoughtless and costly spiral? If something is good, doesn’t it deserve to be unconstrained?

Terry Anker

Terry Anker is an associate editor of Current Publishing LLC. You may e-mail him at terry@youarecurrent.com

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