Critical Thinking Session

What's in the long run? God's invisible hand or an excuse?

    The phrase "in the long run" is often used with a surely face, sounding as if it gives some importance to the message you want to convey. You might have heard somebody say, "Don't even mind such a small failure. Life isn't just a signel shot. It gave you a great lesson for you to do well in the long run. The most important thing is: what you've learned from this experience." I'm sure almost everyne has told or been told something like this in your life. Yes, it is quite true. Life is not a single shot, and you need to learn a long-term strategy as well as a short-term tactics. However, at the same time, it seems to be often used merely as an excuse to cover up for the loss in the short run.



     Short-time benefits and long-time benefits - It is quite vague how those two differently spanned logics should be calculated and applied to our life plannings. More precisely, I don't see how a short spanned loss can benefit our lives in the long run. If it does, we should all plan to deliberately fail once or twice in a while to get a longer-lived lesson, but do we all do that? No, we always try to get the best results from our short-lived challenges, and never have this "in-the-long-run" perspective until we finally fail in those challenges. In that sense, as I've already presumed, the phrase is basically an excuse!


    And there's a trick to this phrase. When you say, "in the long run," nobody knows how long it should be. In addition, nobody has seen two different futures where your split desicions would lead to. Therefore, what we all should focus on is the present time. If we fail in whatever we work on now, it simply is a loss, not a lesson in the long run. Even if it does eventually benefit you IN THE LONG RUN, you haven't just seen it yet!


1. Are there anything that are bitter or painful in the present time and yet you can claim that they are keys to the long run happiness in your life?


2. Looking back on your life, are there anything that were painful when you're going through that turned into a key to your happy life in the long run?