The Price

…whether the mess belongs to the subject, or to someone else (or a combination) is unknown, and really doesn’t matter;

March 11, 2020

Some fifty years ago (this summer), “Harry” was confronted with the dilemma of either immediately upsetting his peers resulting in their extreme (and immediate) disapproval of “Harry,” or requiring them to put their lives at very real risk by immediately intervening in a hazardous undertaking.

On the one hand, they would probably think better of “Harry” if he didn’t cause them immediate stress; and on the other hand, less of “Harry” if he required they do what they wanted to avoid; definitely a lose-lose situation.

However, lack of intervention would probably have resulted in increasingly greater peril, possibly to the point where opinions no longer mattered (or existed).

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), “Harry” had been introduced to that nasty little nemesis of all first-termers known as duty, and that nemesis gnawed away at his dilemma; to the point where “Harry” accepted the cost of not being liked as the price of being there at that time; and able to accomplish an objective.

“Harry” didn’t do anything so dramatic as exhorting his peers to greater efforts; rather, it was along the lines of “come’on, let’s get this done.”

Some decades later, I read a review of Tom Lea’s The Price. The salient point of the reviewer, that remains with me today, is that by observation, one cannot tell the source of the mess on Lea’s subject’s left arm (as Lea intended); the upshot being that whether the mess belongs to the subject, or to someone else (or a combination) is unknown, and really doesn’t matter; the mess remains The Price to be paid for getting things done.

There’s always a (multi-faceted) price of getting things done.

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