What is Unseen
One of my all time favorite books is “That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen” by Frederic Bastiat. Though Bastiat wrote his treatise on economics, the premise applies to understanding anything.
As we grow up, hopefully, we learn from experience. But, too often, we only learn the immediate result – we don’t see the other results of our actions. Usually, our actions have unintended consequences. Thus, we need to develop foresight to become aware of the consequences of our actions.
Usually, the quick fix doesn’t solve the problem because it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Obviously if you’re bleeding, you need a band-aid – but, band-aids are usually only temporary fixes.
You get the point … you don’t need me to belabor how short-sightedness hurts our health, our relationships, our businesses, our economy, etc.
What blows my mind is that Bastiat wrote this book in 1840, and it seems that we still haven’t learned this basic lesson. Maybe it’s because our lives are so short that society doesn’t learn mature lessons.
Ironically, as we become more modern and “advanced”, we want immediate gratification. A fast-paced consumer society can easily become shallow and short-sighted. But a communistic society is based on “materialism” – I mean the Marxist definition of materialism – that life is only what you see (matter) and not spiritual.
I believe that the lack of spirituality is at the root of the problem. If humans do not believe that life is more than it seems … their view of life has to be pretty superficial. The depths of life is what gives it meaning, what makes it make sense – it is “that which is unseen”.
The beauty of the Christmas season is wonderful – enjoy it. But, especially treasure the beauty that underlies the visible world … that’s what this Holiday Season is really about.
GM and Head Golf Professional