Sunday, October 26, 2008


During childhood, my father, at opportune times, would say to me, "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush".  This expression was one way he used to teach me about assessing risk, measuring rewards, and deciding contentment. 

Other times he told me, "Don't count your chickens before they hatch". He used this expression to warn me not to assume a certain outcome just because it seems apparent in the present moment.

During my adult life, I sometimes recall my father's words.  For example, when I've had a capital gain in a fluctuating investment, I sometimes used the "bird" expression to help me decide to "cash in" instead of waiting another day on the possibility of further gain. Sometimes my decision was wise, other times a delay would have meant more profit. 

I've used the "hatching chickens" expression to help learn patience, self control and to celebrate events only after they actually happen.

I realize it is proper to cheerlead and to rah rah rah fans in order to create a mood about possible outcomes.  But, John McCain, Barack Obama and their supporters should take note of my father's admonition about counting chickens.

I know that polling can predict outcomes to a high degree of accuracy. Multivariate Analysis, Analysis of Variance, Chi-Square, Probability Theory, and Statistical Confidence Limits are mathematical tools used to predict future behavior of populations and are applied to actions by people through statistical sampling of likely voters.  However, everyone should heed the wisdom in my father's words.

After November 4 when the election outcome is known, I plan to morally support whoever wins.  I plan no feelings of depression, no celebration, no fretting, no vocal critique or extolment to friends or other listeners about what went right or wrong.  I plan to work as usual, pay my taxes in full, and live life to the fullest.  I hope you will do likewise.

Have a good week! 


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