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"In life and business, there are two cardinal sins.
The first is to act precipitously without thought and
the second is to not act at all."
- Carl Icahn
In business, acting without thought, planning and due diligence may be fatal to the business. However, can this be true of life in general? Is doing nothing or doing something without careful thought a cardinal sin?
Icahn likely doesn't mean cardinal sin in a religious sense, only in the sense of being critical to good health.
If doing nothing is critical, then it seems a large portion of the populations of most western countries has reached that stage. What they do is to buy and, in the case of some, to devote themselves to a religious belief set proposed by a few people who have as much (or more) to gain from selling their religious concepts as industries have from bringing in customers through their advertising.
Thinking seldom enters their lives as an active pursuit any more than it does a predator animal when it chooses between two potential victims.
It has become progressively harder to get people out to vote because they have little or no idea who to vote for. Many who do vote do so based on what they have been told by someone else (including the media) or on the emotional wave that has followed some personal issue among the candidates (such as prior drug use or marital indiscretion of one).
I happen to live in a rural municipality where city cottagers leave their accumulated weekend waste at the landfill (dump) at the end of each weekend. Many arrive in their $60,000 SUVs and must ask the attendant (every weekend) where to put their newspapers, their cardboard or their recyclables. Some don't even ask, they simply put what they have into the wrong bins despite the fact that each bin has acceptable contents clearly shown in illustrations and in words on their sides.
These give no evidence that they have the ability to think beyond the minimum necessary for doing their jobs and for survival in the family.
Ask any one of them if something should be done to alleviate the problems that precipitate global warming (climate change) and without exception they will reply in the affirmative. Yet nothing in their behaviour confirms that their belief has been transferred to a change in behaviour. Their reaction toward the climate change question is knee-jerk reaction, with no actual thinking following up.
At least the people who act precipitously and make mistakes learn from them and don't make the same mistakes more than seven or eight times. The people who learn nothing do no thinking.
Perhaps that is the moral aspect that Icahn called a cardinal sin. Doing nothing is an indication of no thinking. In the animal world, these people would be the first course of lunch when the first predator came around. That's a violation of natural laws.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a book about how and what to teach children so that they don't become SUV-driving, drug-using, non-thinking vegetables as adults.
Learn more at http://billallin.com