Living Life Marginally

Two men were walking down a cold grove in November. They were discussing things of no matter in particular when one made an observation.

The man said, “Why is it that if a man sees a puddle, he walks where he can get wet, even if there is sufficient space to walk and stay dry?”

“Well that answer is actually quite simple”, said the other man. “Those men are the same ones who appreciate a sky of pure continuous grey just as much as a sky of pure blue beauty.”
This appeared as an oxymoronic paradox to the other man at first. “How do they appreciate such a sky? Such a sky fills most with despair, with melancholy. Why is it that these men could possible be appreciating such a sky as much as the boisterous blue sky that fills the earth and its inhabitants with warmness and glee. I see a night and day difference between the two and telling me otherwise will be but wasted words.”

“Well”, the man said as if he was about to argue the existence of air or the sun, “These men see things very differently, they see things marginally. They have a great talent, an advantage on us all, seeing the good as good and the bad as just as good. Imagine seeing the good for what it is and the bad for what it could be. They see the grey sky for without the grey sky, the blue sky would be just another sky. Imagine if everyday was a sunny 72 degrees? You wouldn’t look at a blue sky the same way ever again. You see the importance of the bad is something under appreciated, looked down, even loathed, but without it the world would be, well, dull, dreary, and almost tedious. The grey makes the blue special. They would prefer life to get worse at times and better at times than it always be the better, and they’re absolutely right in this. The margin is unappreciated but thankfully there are those who do appreciate it for its great importance. Go ahead and give me a facet of life you see as the worst, and I can tell you the marginal importance.”

“Okay”, said the other, almost in rebuttal, “I see the ills of mankind everyday. I see the gears of the justice system being greased with money of the guilty and disparity of the poor. I see money and happiness being held to the mind as a 50/50 relationship. This all gives me a migraine headache. If you can tell me the marginal significance of man’s tribulations, then I will see your side.”

“Oh my, my friend you have given me an easy task indeed. This is what the marginalists see as mankind’s learning. Mankind is an infant, struggling to its feet. Every second, every action, every mistake we make as a whole, is one less mistake we will make in the future. I agree that we may have to make the same mistake millions of times before we learn, but this is all part of the process. This applies to life in the shorter term as well. The mistakes you make as an adolescent are not the ones you make as a wise adult. The mistakes you make learning an instrument hundreds of times are the aspects you will be best at. The mistakes you say mankind makes over and over again are the aspects we will be best at. We are part of the experiment of life; experiments are 99% mistakes and 1% success. That 1% is all we need to have a mankind that is spectacular, better than any of us can imagine, and the period of negativity will only emphasize the amazing existence mankind will take on many, many, many generations from now. The marginalists see the beauty in mistakes, and for this I welcome them.”





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