We live in a world where everyone wants rewards: rebates, prizes, freebies, handouts, and so on. More and more, people want rewards for less effort. We don't want to work for our income. We don't want to buy something before winning a prize. We want excuses to get us out of punishment. Consequence is a dirty word. Some reading I've done of late, and a realization I had some time back have finally come together into the understanding that we're getting rewarded all the time. We just don't realize it (and a lot of us aren't going to like it when we finally do realize it–which is inevitable).

One day, a coworker said to me (having no clue what he was about to inspire), “I tried that, but nothing happened.”

“That’s impossible,” I replied.

When I started my reply, I simply couldn’t believe that the suggested approach wouldn’t have yielded any change. But by the time I finished, I realized I was stating a fact: It’s not possible for nothing to happen. The instant nothing happens, it ceases to be nothing and becomes something.

I pondered for a moment and then explained this to my coworkers. This launched into a now infamous series of discussions about nothing.

couch

There are few contests that go on for very long. Generally speaking, if a winner isn't clearly established within a few decades, the contestants get bored and decide to go for a pizza instead. There is at least one contest, however, that seems like it could last forever. That may be because the contestants aren't mortal. They're not even immortal. They're mindless properties that seem able to enlist everyone and everything to their respective causes: inertia and momentum.

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...

      -- Proverbs 23:7

The author of this proverb probably didn't know anything modern science has discovered or theorized about how the human brain functions, but he didn't seem to need modern science to draw the same conclusion.

Over the years, I've learned four specific discoveries or theories about how the brain functions and they've got me thinking about consequences...

BalanceAs long as the politicians in Washington are going on about balancing the budget, I thought I would jump on the proverbial bandwagon and put in my two cents about balance. But I don't want to talk about problems as simple as balancing a budget. I mean, kids learn how to add and subtract in grade school. That's all a budget is, adding and subtracting until you come out with zero. How hard can that be? No, I want to talk about a sort of balance that's much harder to achieve, so hard, in fact, that I call it a conundrum.