The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Gaining Comfort

The more opportunities and choices there are, the more difficult things become.

That is if one hopes to use them all.

The more injustice and systems of caste appear the more overwhelming things become.

That is if one hopes to avoid them all.

They are interconnected and create one another.

It has been a long process and remains an ongoing process.

In his autobiography, Henry Ford recounted a sales meeting held in 1909. A salesman was asking him to add other models and he remarked: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” It was only in 1914 that a black-only policy was introduced. Its purpose was to avoid shutting down the assembly line, a change in the color of the produced car would have made it necessary. In 1926, the policy was changed.

And suddenly, the market was split into different groups of customers.

As time evolved, new brands appeared, new car types appeared, and the market continued to address smaller and smaller groups of customers. Which was addressed by the myth of scale. There is a limit to the number of options a company can create, the hope was that scaling the production would solve the problem.

The more comfortable people became with receiving the choice they were looking for, the more they experienced its lack as an injustice.

And they started to invent more precise needs.

Where food was a local product, the available logistics allowed for further and quicker transport. It became normal to have meat and the chosen meat from across the world. It became just as normal to be a vegetarian seeking to find a restaurant offering a choice of vegetarian meals as if the world was meeting in that restaurant.

The market, hungry for alternatives, learned to serve all the groups available. The more diversity appeared and could be served, the more opportunities they had. The more injustice could be made visible, the more people could be served.

There is no real incentive to alleviate injustice if serving those experiencing it creates a new market.

It’s a paradox.

The more groups transform themselves into systems of caste to address a given injustice, the more injustice appears.

It’s seeking perfection in solving and reducing injustice. It’s assuming that the presence of some kind of suffering is an injustice. It’s assuming that comfort should be the norm.

It’s forgetting that being human comes with the limitation of being human.

Sometimes the task is to accept the limitations of the moment and acknowledge how much effort to reach comfort has been made. That is when it’s time to let the quest for comfort go and get on with one’s task.


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