Playing a better game of life – part 4

Think of your environment as the playing field.

Your environment is an essential component of the game of life. Your survival depends on how well you understand this fact and take appropriate action to level the playing field or tilt it in your favor.

In any game, the playing field has an effect on the outcome of the game. You would not expect to play a topnotch game of soccer or baseball on a field littered with garbage and potholes, because the neglected environment introduces unnecessary obstacles and will cause loss of control and possible injury.

An office environment where mold or harmful vapors exist can seriously affect your health. Ignoring these clues can significantly shorten your career and your life. If you work in a foundry or a paint shop, you are prepared for a life-threatening environment and usually wear protective equipment. Office workers will placidly continue working while workers use caustic solutions to remove paint or lift carpets in the same bay where office work is being done. In the same manner, office workers will continue working in offices with rain-soaked carpets and moldy ceilings because the boss has not told anyone they can go home or work elsewhere.

For example, deciding not to protect employees from black mold infestations in Research Triangle Park offices was probably not a decision made by IBM top management, but it affected fifty lives, some of them fatally. Somebody decided that it would be more efficient to cover up the problem rather than deal with it. It is still being covered up.  The interesting point as far as I am concerned, is that other employees are still working in the affected buildings…

The home is becoming a workplace for more and more people as telecommuting and self-employment spread. If ones home is cluttered and disorganized, it acts as an impediment to efficient production. If the home is filled with strife and unpleasantness, that is a major distraction to getting work done. A pleasant and orderly home makes a wonderful workplace. Those who work in such surroundings are to be admired.

Your town or neighborhood is the playing field for much of your social life, and in some cases, your working life. You have a responsibility to contribute to the town or neighborhood so that it remains a safe and healthy place to live. Only the most degraded expect the Federal Government to bear the responsibility for activities that are the responsibility of any local government.

For example, if you build your town in a swamp or a flood plain, why should the Federal Government be responsible for keeping you safe from mosquito-born diseases and flooding? State and County governments may be involved because of the possible economic returns, but the basic problem is an irresponsible choice of a high-risk playing field.

As an individual looking out for the interests of self, family, and neighborhood, you have a responsibility to ensure that your environment will aid you in your playing the game of life. Sometimes, the neighborhood gets overwhelmed by factors that you and your neighbors cannot overcome. If you have done all that you can do to rectify the problem and the neighborhood becomes more unsafe as time goes on, you may have to find another playing field before harm comes to you or your family.

This is an extreme situation, as you can usually enlist allies to clean up even the worst of situations if there is some underlying financial return from doing so. When there is a long-standing situation of unhandled corruption and criminality, the economic viability of a city, corporation, or township can be so marginal that it will no longer support legitimate businesses. This is one of the times it is wiser to relocate and start again elsewhere.

Do your best to improve your environment and make it a safe place to live or work. If your actions are being strongly opposed, you may wish to find another playing field and get on with your life.


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