Category Archives: Food For Thought

Hon. Harold D’Souza – A human trafficking crusader

On January 19, 2022, the world woke up to the news of the horrible death of Jagdish Patel, his wife Vaishali, their daughter Vihangi and son Dharmik. Residents of Dingucha, a village in Gujarat were found frozen to death in Manitoba on the Canada-US border. They were on their way to the US without valid documents. They had moved to Canada from Gujarat on a valid tourist visa in late December 2021. Like other 24.9 million people worldwide, the Patel family were victims of Human Trafficking.

Hon. Harold D’Souza and his family too were victims of Human Trafficking. On March 13,2022 at the webinar “Human Trafficking: In Conversation with Hon. Harold D’Souza”organized by the Ontario Konkani Association, in collaboration with the Canada India Foundation, Indus Community Services, North American Konkani Association, Chitrapur Heritage Foundation, Saraswat Foundation, U.S.A. and Konkani Association of California, Harold spoke about the difficulties faced and overcome by him and his family. The family’s story is one of survival, resilience and finally triumph.

Hon. Harold D’Souza, native of Bajpe, Mangalore was born in Vadodara, Gujarat. His father Henry D’Souza had moved to Dabhoi, Gujarat with a job at Western Railway.  Bajpe runs in Harold’s blood. He credits Bajpe for his respect for value, character, education, faith, love and humility.

A friend who was living in the United States who owned a restaurant in Ohio, lured him with a better life. In 2003, at 37, with master’s degree in Marketing Management and a postgraduate diploma in Human Resource Development, Harold resigned from a senior management position to follow the American Dream. Once he and his wife Dancy, also from Mangalore, and two sons – Rohan then 4 years old and Bradly 7 years old were in the US, their perpetrator took their documentation, wiped their bank account and put them in a one-room apartment. He threatened to have them deported unless they worked in his restaurant. Harold and Dancy, toiled 24/7, 16 hours a day without pay. Harold puts it “but my American dream transformed into hell. I lost my freedom and struggled to keep those I loved safe”. They too had become Human Trafficking victims.

After 19 months of servitude, at last Dancy confronted the restaurant owner and demanded their back wages. He repeated his threat to have them deported. The restaurant’s chef overheard the conversation and connected the D’Souzas with the US Department of Labor.  His exploiter sent a hit man to have him killed. While in the hospital bed, he vouched to live for his children and wife. With the help from Trafficking Assistance Programs, their church and community, they escaped their imprisonment.

According to the International Labour Organization, there are over 24.9 million people in forced labor worldwide. But reliable statistics on human trafficking are hard to come by as victims often do not know they are being victimized. Victims of human trafficking are held captive by debt bondage, violence, and other forms of manipulation, and their servitude goes unnoticed in their communities, and unassisted.

Traffickers use coercion and deception to exploit their victims and compel them to labor or commercial sex. Would be victims may pay between Rs 50 lakh to Rs one crore or more per person to their human traffickers. The victims often borrow money for passports, visas or travel expenses with the promise of a job or romantic relationship, only to be forced into servitude. Often victims are reluctant to report to the authorities as they are threatened if they come forward, they’re going to be deported or prosecuted.

Trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion industry, the second most profitable illegal business after the drug trade. Victims are often lured by someone they know, commonly, friends or family members. Recruiters may be acting independently, or connected to organized criminal networks or terrorist groups.

Combating the crime requires worldwide collaboration. The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the US Department of State works with foreign governments and supports antitrafficking organizations in nearly 100 countries. In collaboration with international organizations like the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Organization for Migration, they assist foreign governments in establishing comprehensive victim assistance services, and develop training programs on investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes. It also facilitates the US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, composed of survivors who are working to end trafficking on a global scale.

Life has come full circle for Hon. Harold D’Souza snd family. From being near slave, to the ‘Voice for the Voiceless Victims’. D’Souzas are an inspiration for those caught in the clutches of human trafficking. Harold was appointed to the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking first by President Barak Obama in 2015 and then by President Donald Trump in 2018. He and Dancy are the Co-Founders of Eyes Open International and are inspirational survivor advocates of international reputation. 

Already, two different films are in production telling his story – “To be free” and a biopic by International Film Producers & Directors

(Victims of Human Trafficking, may call 1-888-373-7888 in the US or 1-833-900-1010 in Canada)

Just can’t find the right word? “Memory Clutter” rather than cognitive decline

If you sometimes have difficulty trying to find the right word or remembering an event or conversation, researchers say there’s probably nothing wrong with your brain or memory. And, more importantly, It’s not necessarily a symptom of cognitive decline. Rather, it’s more likely a symptom of how well your brain has been working over the years, absorbing, retaining and storing information. And it’s a normal cognitive situation that develops with healthy aging. Beginning in middle age and onward, retrieving a word or a memory, especially under pressure or in the moment, can be challenging simply because the brain has accumulated so much data.

Reassuring Findings

That’s the reassuring finding of a study by the Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest Health Sciences published recently in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.  “Older people do worry about these memory lapses because they might be indicative of a more serious problem,” acknowledges study co-author Dr. Lynn Hasher, senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute and professor emerita of psychology at the University of Toronto.  She explains that with normal cognitive aging, “One of the problems in getting the word you want is that you know it, but other words closely related to it, sometimes phonetically, sometimes in meaning, get in the way.” 

The research suggests it’s “clutter” that’s built up in the brain that gets in the way of extracting target information it’s needed immediately. “Older adults’ memories contain more non-target features and, thus, are cluttered with excessive information,” according to the published paper. This clutter includes “recently activated but no-longer-relevant information, prior knowledge cued by the ongoing situation, as well as irrelevant information in the current environment.” In other words, says Hasher, “We’ve just got too much stuff in our heads as we age.” As well, says Dr. Tarek Amer, a co-author of the paper and post-doctoral fellow at Columbia and Harvard University, “Certain flashbacks or mind wandering — not necessarily related to current tasks — stem from this reduced selective attention.”

One example: cooking in the kitchen and forgetting to add the salt because the smell of an ingredient conjures up the memory a restaurant meal you once had in your foreign travels and your mind wanders to that experience. “Cues can trigger a memory that you’re not actually aware of,” explains Hasher. “A lot of memory happens incidentally.”

The Upside to Memory Clutter

The good news is that there is a significant upside to this clutter of information and experience, suggests psychologist Amer. “There are advantages in other contexts, in tasks involving decision-making and creativity,” he explains, “for example, coming up with novel solutions to open-ended tasks.”

Older people can call upon more information and experience to support that decision-making or novel solution even though they may have trouble finding a target word or remembering a movie title in the instant it’s needed.

“As we age, we rely more on knowledge accumulated over a lifetime rather than building on that knowledge as younger people do,” suggests Amer. “Cluttered memories might contribute to this wisdom, because we do accumulate a lot of knowledge over a lifetime.” This store of knowledge, memories and experience, though it may come with glitches like forgetting names, serves us well. 

“Older adults, past 60 or older, are very valuable contributors to society,”  Amer says, “and they are often in positions of power making important decisions.”

A specific example Hasher offers: older adults are better at keeping meetings and discussions on track and focused. “At a committee meeting, Person A says something, Person B says something else, Person C says something else. The older person is likely to return to the topic (initiated by Person A). That’s because older people hold on to the recent past even while they consider new information. Younger people go with the new information.”  She adds, “That may be irritating to younger people and may contribute to the prejudice against older people.”

Hasher says that may explain why it’s often the case that older people’s comments are dismissed by younger colleagues who are impatient with their elders.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: From “Everything Zoomer Wellness Edition” April 11, 2022

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3 Essential Strategies to Get Good Grades

Hello everyone, and congratulations on completing the first semester of the 2021-2022 year! I’m sure we have all been working hard at school, but things can become really stressful when the stakes to perform well are high for post-secondary admissions and other academic programs. If school isn’t challenging enough by itself, don’t forget that heading off to college or university will bring a whole new set of obstacles and challenges into the picture. Things only get harder year by year. Furthermore, a 2020 study by Finances Online proved that 66% of students are frequently or always worried about getting into their dream college or university. But if you plan and make decisions wisely, it will make things a lot less stressful. Today, I will be sharing a few helpful strategies to help you perform at your best level next term and later on.

My first tip, which is probably the most important one, is to clearly understand the purpose and objective of every assignment before starting. I’d put it this way – not understanding the goal of a task is like driving without knowing your destination. The chances of making a mistake and finding yourself lost will be extremely high in this case. In short, guidelines are like ropes. Staying within them will ultimately lead you to success, but straying off will only steer you into danger, which could mean anything from bad grades to late assignments. The easiest and most effective way to avoid these problems is by reading the success criteria and rubric before starting a project. After all, there is really nothing to lose from spending a couple of extra minutes if it could save you a lot of time later on.

If you’re still confused after reading the guidelines or somewhere during the process, never be afraid to request your teacher for an explanation. When I was in elementary school, I lost a handful of marks every year because I was generally scared to ask for help. All of this might sound like a lot of added pressure over the task itself. But if you focus more on summative assignments than formative ones, you won’t be stressed over every little thing. If you follow these steps carefully, you will hopefully find your schoolwork less challenging and more rewarding. But there’s way more to success than simply knowing what to do.

This brings us to my second tip which relates to time management. With a few simple steps, you will be able to achieve more in the same amount of time. Let’s face it. We all have those few assignments at times that seem incredibly difficult or boring. I’m now going to share a few strategies I use during tough times in terms of schoolwork. First things first, it’s extremely important to spend more time on assignments that are worth more marks. After all, remember – every marked assignment is a step to determining your final mark. As a result, it’s definitely a bad idea to work when you’re feeling angry, tired, or frustrated.

If it helps, you can plan how much time you will spend on each segment based on how the marks will be distributed. Of course, you won’t want to waste time on anything unnecessary, so be sure to pause for a moment before starting part of an assignment. Ask yourself, “Is this really necessary?” You’ll also want to use a similar approach for assignments that require you to choose a topic for the framework. In this case, making a decision is similar to positioning yourself for a free throw in basketball. If you find an easier option, then congratulations! You’ve just saved yourself some pointless labor. Just remember that if at any point in time you’re having trouble making a tough decision, having a friend or classmate around can certainly reduce the pressure and make things a lot more entertaining.

My main point is, be mindful of how much time you spend on each task. Remember that when comparing the amount of time spent on a task to your mark, the result with generally is a curved graph like this one:

So spending 20 minutes of one assignment and 180 minutes on another might give you a terrible average of around 62%, but spending the same amount of time – 100 minutes on each – will give you a much better score of around 83%.

These strategies will take you a long way in assignments, but it won’t be too long before COVID ends and tests are back again at our doorsteps. To do well on exams it’s essential to take organized notes. According to ResearchGate, students who take notes score 13% higher on average. But the big question here is, have you been taking notes correctly?

For starters, remember that though your teachers might be looking at one of your lab reports, they probably won’t be digging furiously through your binder to evaluate your chemistry notes. The most important note-taking tip is to keep your notes short and easy to read. If it helps, feel free to use diagrams, images, or charts. After all, what matters is that you are able to understand your class notes – not your friends, or even your teacher! To do so, you will have to still ensure that you don’t leave any incomplete points. If something doesn’t need to be written, don’t write it. Give your pen a break. After all, you shouldn’t feel pressured to write four pages of notes in an hour just because your friend is doing so.

While studying for tests, you will only need to recap a summary of the information – not everything word-by-word. As it has repeatedly been proven that writing is one of the best ways to retain information, taking notes wisely will help you not only to study during quizzes and tests but also to remember key concepts. Hopefully, if you follow these tips and work hard, you’ll be able to avoid situations like report card shock.

Remember that if you didn’t do too well the last term, there is always hope. Most universities only look at your marks for the second term of grade 11 and for grade 12, so keep your hopes up! I wish you all the best of luck for the second semester. Thank you!

The Divine Number 9

Every Hindu must be proud of Sanatana Dharma. Since times memorial our Ancient Sages have scripted this religious order as a Science more than a Religion,

As mentioned in my last article on the number 108, it is said that this is a divine number that compromises of the 12 Rashi’s X 9 Grahas. This simply embodies what we call the circle of life. Now let’s dig deeper into these numbers. Both 9 and 12 are intricately connected to Santana Dharma.  In this article let’s focus on the number 9.

When you add up the divine number 108 as 1+0+8 it equals 9.

The number 9 is revered in Hinduism and considered a complete number because it represents the end of a cycle in the decimal system, which originated from the Indian subcontinent as early as 3000 BC. 9 is a very important number for geometry, architecture and angles. It is said there are Nine influencers that are an integral part of Indian astrology. According to our Hindu philosophy, there are nine universal substances or elements: Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Ether, Time, Space, Soul, and Mind.

Navaratri is a nine-day festival dedicated to the nine forms of Durga.

Navaratna, meaning “nine jewels” may also refer to Navaratnas – accomplished courtiers, Navratan – a kind of dish, or a form of architecture.

The number nine is often associated with a divine connotation in the mystical thought and religions across the globe from ancient times.

Our scriptures talk about Goddess Durga the divine female power synonymous with creator of the universe, the embodiment of pristine purity and truth, annihilated the demons representing the evil forces.

Goddess Durga waged a war for nine days to combat the potent rakshasas (satanic power) and bestow deliverance to the world in general.

In Santana Dharma, Rishi Vyas created 9 Puranas, 108 Maha Purana (Upanishads). Our ancient Rishi’s have written that are 4 Yugas. Now when we look at the number of years each Yug lasted and add up all the numbers, yet again we land on Nine.

Satyayug – consists of 172,800 years (1 7 2 = 18 = (1+ 8 = 9)

TretaYug consists of 1296000 years (1 2 9 6) = 18 = (1+ 8 = 9)

DwaparYug consists of 864000 years (8 4 6) = 18 = (1 + 8 = 9)

Kalyug consists of 432000 years (4 3 2) = 9

According to Sanatana Dharma, a Healthy Person normally takes 21600 breaths in a day which again gives Number 9 after summing up (2 1 6=9). In Hindu astronomy we recognize nine planets, collectively knows as Navagraha’s, whose movements and configuration we believe would affect the lives and destinies or the state (graham) of beings in different worlds. These nine planets are the Sun (Surya), the Moon (Chandra), Mars (Managala), Mercury (Budha), Jupiter (Brihaspathi), Venus (Sukra), Saturn (Sani), Rahu and Ketu. However, in the temples they all are worshipped collectively or as a group and very rarely alone.

In addition, our Hindu Astronomy speaks of   27 constellations in our galaxy, and each one of them has 4 directions, and 27 * 4 = 108(1 0 8=9), In other words the number 108 covers the whole galaxy.

Our Astrologers consider Number 9 as the number of Brahma, the Creator.

Now let’s get to Geometry and angles: A Circle degree is 360 which is further (3 6=9).

If you multiply nine by any whole number (except zero), and repeatedly add the digits of the answer until it’s just one digit, you will end up with nine. Go ahead and try the Nine tables that we used to repeat every day.

2 × 9 = 18 (1 8 = 9); 3 x 9 = 27 (2 7=9)

What is it about Nine that is so unique? All of the above reasons make Nine a Divine Number in Sanatana Dharma.

On a more spiritual angle the Bhagavata purana mentions nine forms of devotion: sravanam (hearing about God), kirtanam (singing the praise of God), mananam (remembering God), padaseva (serving the feet of God), archanam (worshiping God), mantram (offering prayers to God), seva (serving the cause of God), maitri (friendship with God) and saranam (surrender to God).

The human body is considered as a city of nine gates which correspond with the nine openings (two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, navel and two excretory openings). Because atman or the self resides in it, it is also called a temple with nine gates.

In the foundation laying ceremony of a temple construction, it is a tradition to place nine jewels and nine forms of grains (Navadhanyas) in the earth where the foundation stone is laid and also where the idols are installed.

No wonder the number nine is associated with a divine connotation in Hinduism from ancient times.

Is this a mere coincidence or is there a deeper connection to this?  Nine seems to be integral part of life and our very existence. Remember the Number 108 that I wrote about in my last article. 9 and 12 are a part and parcel of Santana Dharma. You just have to be amazed by the depths to which our Religion goes. No wonder we say Hinduism is a Way of Life rather than a strict boundary laid out in many other religious orders.

Jai Ho!!! To all our Ancient Rishi’s

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108: Just a Random Number or….

Have you ever wondered why do we have to chant a Mantra 108 times, take 108 pradakshinas around the temple deity? Why is 108 viewed as holy for all Hindus?  You will be amazed when you read this article.

You see 108 is a divine number that is crucial for Life and Death on Planet Earth. The very existence of life on Earth is based on this number 108.  To think our Ancient Sages did not know this is a gross understatement. With all their collective wisdom they laid the foundation of our entire Sanatana Dharma to be a way of life as opposed to just a religious order.  

Is it just a random number or is there a deeper connection to it? Our Ancient Sages attribute a lot of importance to 108.  Now let us dissect this meaningfully.

Amazing aspects of “108”:

There are 108 vital points or marma in a human body according to Ayurveda. Each chant of a Mantra goes through each of those vital points.

Also, in Hinduism, there are 108 Upanishads, the sacred texts of wisdom from ancient sages. Additionally, in the Sanskrit alphabet, there are fifty-four letters. Each letter has a feminine, or Shakti, and masculine, or Shiva, quality. 54 multiplied by 2 equals 108.

There are 12 Raasi’s or astrological houses and 9 Graha’s or Navagraha’s planets.

An average person is said to breathe 21,600 times in a 24-hour period. Half, 10,800, is solar energy (breaths during the day), and the other half is lunar energy (breaths during the night). 100 multiplied with 108 equals 10,800.

The Yog Gurus always tell us that our body contains seven chakras, starting at the top of the head and ending at the base of the spine. Each chakra is said to be an energy center within our body. The heart chakra, located at the exact center of the chest, is associated with transformation and love energy. It is believed that opening this energy center will lead to joy and compassion. Apparently, this heart chakra is also said to have 108 nadi (energy lines) that converge to form this energy center.

River Ganga spans a longitude of approximately 12 degrees (79 to 91) and a latitude of 9 degrees (22 to 31). 12 multiplied by 9 equals 108.

The Sarsen Circle at Stonehenge in the UK has a diameter of 108 feet.

The Brideshwara Temple in the city of Tanjore has a height is 216 ft which is 108×2.

The Koh Ker is the modern name for an important city of the Khmer empire in Cambodia. During the reign, the Kings Jaya Varman IV and Harsha Varman II Koh Ker were briefly the capital of the whole Khmer empire (928–944 AD). Inscriptions in the town mention this city as Lingapura (city of lingams). Koh Ker Pyramid at the time had an impressive Lingam atop this impressive structure. The height of this pyramid    before the Lingam was destroyed was 108 ft

Now for the real interesting part:

If you were to divide the distance between the Earth and Sun by the diameter of the Sun it is approximately equal to 108

If you were to divide the distance between the Earth and the Moon by the diameter of the Moon it is 108

The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of Earth. The distance from the Sun to Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The distance from the Earth to Moon is 108 times the diameter of the moon. This is also the reason when you look up in the sky you see the size of the Moon and the Sun as the same. We all know that Sun is at least 400 times larger than the Moon. The Moon should have appeared as a speck in front of the Sun, but what you see every day and during eclipses is vastly different. All of this is attributed to this unique number.

The very existence of life on Earth is because of this unique position of the Earth, Sun, and Moon and the axial tilt of the Earth. Imagine if this was not 108, our existence on this planet would be at severe risk exposing us to catastrophic calamities such as Tsunami, Ice storms, Heatwaves. Very soon this Blue Planet would be like Mars or Venus.

For those Geeks out there, look up the equations to see what you get when you measure the distance to the Sun divided by the diameter of say, Mars or Venus. And do the same with the moons of those planets respectively. The reason why Life does not exist is said to be because of this.

But then you may ask the question is there a planet out there which can sustain Life. Perhaps yes, but certainly not at least in this Solar system. In another Galaxy that may have its own equivalent of a Sun and planets revolving around it, this may be a potential scenario. Again that 108 is crucial to have to sustain life.

When you look up and see the Billions of stars in the galaxy, surely there might be at least one Planet out there that follows this equation.  Who knows the Gods must be watching us from this Planet… aka Swarga / Heaven?

Coming back to why we were not told about going around the deities in a temple 108 times or reciting a mantra or a prayer 108 times; Well, WE SIMPLY NEVER ASKED OUR PRIESTS. But now you know.

If you are a Sanatana Dharma follower, you have to be just AMAZED at how our Ancient Sages knew this when they spun the foundation fabric on Santana Dharma and deemed it as a Way of Life. No wonder Sanatana Dharma regards 108 as a Divine Number

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My New Year’s Resolution

I do not know what it is, everybody wants your opinion. Today I logged into my bank account and the bank wanted me to take part in a customer satisfaction survey. I dropped off my car for repairs, no sooner had I picked it up than a message popped up with a survey with a chance to win a free oil change. Then when I was at the grocery store, the receipt offered a survey and a chance to win $1000. Walmart asked me to help them serve better, by writing a product review. Even OKA wants my opinion after the show. Guess what, in all probability the chance of winning that 1000 dollars or a free oil change is as remote as me winning a million-dollar lottery. And then there is Whatsapp and other social media with their constant pings and likes. Some days I lie in bed wondering what did I achieve that day.

If you feel you never have a quiet moment to think then join the club. Maybe I am so special and important that everyone wants my opinion, but I doubt it. All the survey monsters really want is more of your hard earned dollars.

So as 2022 rolls in, here is my resolution: I will not let surveys and social media waste my precious time and capture my attention.

No, I do not wish to rate my latest transaction.

No, I will not take a short survey.

No, I will not help improve customer service by commenting on my experience

No, I will not go online when I get home and share my thoughts.

No, I will not write a few words about how to receive or try your new product.

No, I will not tell you if I will be recommending your services or products to my friends.

No, I will not give you hints on what you could do better.

No, I do not want to earn bonus points or even 5 cents off my next purchase by volunteering a few moments of my time to share my views on the last person who assisted me.

I do not have enough moments left on Earth to only be writing reviews.

If my kids heard my opinion, they would most likely reject it (with a polite roll of their eyes of course). As for my better half, I do not want to even get into that. Other family members probably argue with my opinion. Friends pretend to listen and act as if they agree with my opinion and then go on to do something completely different. Based on my track record thus far, even getting someone I know to appreciate my opinion will take all the time I have left, to live in this world.

What will I replace all my time completing surveys with? What will I say yes to where I will now say no?  Some ideas:

YES, I will continue to say when the cashier asks me $2 for the food bank.

YES, I will continue to volunteer.

YES, I willcontinue to support worthy causes.

YES, I will help build stronger communities.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

I lay my head down on my pillow and close my eyes. I am about to dose off to sleep when I pause to open my mental self-survey of how I did at the end of this day, and at the end of this life and I click the little box that says “extremely satisfied.”

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The Number Game

When quantity takes precedence over quality

Here’s a thought experiment: Ask a few people to randomly pick between quality and quantity. A surprising majority would pick quality, even in the absence of context. It is an ingrained idea that quality is superior. But is that always true? Sometimes, we might be better off broadening than deepening. Let’s examine.

The more we travel, the more we explore.
The more we read, the more we understand.
The more we fail, the more we learn.

Often times, letting quantity steer the wheel can expose us to a wide range of experiences that would otherwise have been limited to a few.

If efforts are streamlined and directed, the synergic effects can be greater than a few targeted efforts. Take content-creation for instance. Gary Vaynerchuck, entrepreneurship’s poster child and the king of PG-13 keynotes, has been a long-time proponent of voluminous content-generation for creators. Essentially, he says it’s better if creators put out huge amounts of okay-quality content than a small number of high-quality content. I concur for the most part. Primarily because it helps to get the ball rolling, but also because in hiding behind the ‘quality’ wall, one’s overall momentum often slows down. It’s the generation of doers, and with the Internet, speed-to-market is more important than ever.

Further, quantity often helps gather large datasets that aid better decision making. Take dating for instance — dating one person before getting married isn’t nearly enough experience to make a life-altering decision. Barring the few lucky ones that find their soulmates in the first go, plain Janes of the world need to kiss a hundred frogs before finding their prince (figuratively speaking). Having a few in the basket helps draw comparisons, and in the process, determine the best path forward. Just like machines learn through data, humans learn through experiences that can come by way of getting more in the bag, even if that means setting the bar a little lower.

Finally, the evident compounding effects are too obvious to ignore. Take the west’s infatuation with emerging markets in Asia and Africa. While per capita return on investment for most mass consumer brands is substantially lower in comparison to domestic markets, the little droplets add up. And in this scenario, it truly is a number game.

Imagine this – you have 3 bananas and 100 peanuts at home. You need around 500 calories immediately for a moderate day hike. It’s much easier to eat the 3 bananas and get going, so that’s what you do. The next day, you again need 500 calories immediately for a 10K run. You already ate the bananas, so you stop sulking and start eating the peanuts. It takes more effort to eat 100 peanuts and it may feel like it’s not worth it, but you’re an ambitious athlete. Notwithstanding the hassle, you now have the 500 calories you wanted.

That’s what developing countries (the peanuts) and developed countries (the bananas) are to western businesses (you). But you eventually gain 500 + 500 = 1000 calories (the $$$). All’s well that ends well.

The three examples mentioned above are random — which is exactly the point. It can be beneficial to chase numbers and numbers only in any situation, as long as we’re cognizant of the inevitable trade-offs.

As is the case with pretty much everything, balance is key. On the quanti-lity graph, it is imperative that we find a balance and not compromise on our core objectives. If the goal is to have meaningful long-lasting relationships, then it is only apt to be strongly tilted towards quality because achieving quantity would mean compromising the very core objective. Defining where we must stand is personal and has to be an independent quest. But once we know what we aim to achieve, it gets easier to define how to get there.

This article was originally published on Medium.

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