Cut Your Losses

Cut Your Losses
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With businesses starting up and then ending before five years have gone by, the saying, “cut your losses” has become popular. Is this a sign of the times in our culture? Or is it a sign that my perception of life is a little screwy? Has society been this way for some time and I, just now, have started to pay attention? Or could it be that I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill?

(Yes, I am having a love affair with clichés. It’s just old age creeping in on me.)

It isn’t just in the business world that I see this inclination in attitude. I heard this phrase from the mouths of family and friends when talking about almost anything in life.

A person bakes a cake to take to a child’s party. Even though the person has followed the directions and has kept the home quiet, the cake falls during the baking process. I can remember a time when a person in these circumstances would have said a few choice words under her or his breath and would have made another cake. The person does this because s/he is fond of the child and doesn’t want that child to be disappointed.

In today’s world, the best you could expect is that the person would go buy a cake if the one s/he make had fallen. However, chances are the fallen cake would be the one seen at the party with the person saying, “I had to cut my losses. The kid is just going to have to understand.”

I’ve heard this saying in situations with personal relationships as well. A couple may have been dating for a few months and feel that they’re getting serious about each other. They start making plans of commitment, either living together or even getting married. As it often is when commitments come into the picture, there’s a tension being felt by one or both in the relationship. And what follows? More than likely, a fight of some sort occurs.

It used to be that when there was a fight (escalated disagreement), the couple would try to smooth things out, come to a compromise or one would lean toward the other’s way of thinking. And it could take a while for all of this to happen. Because the couple wants the commitment, they’d work to resolve the issue.

In today’s world, I’m seeing something quite different. Once that fight happens, the relationship falls apart. Both parties want the other one to give in. Or one of them feels that the relationship wasn’t meant to be. If there is any attempt to reconcile, it doesn’t seem to be done with much effort. Instead, I’m hearing one or both saying, “I’m cutting my losses and moving on.”

Have you heard the term, “throw away society”? This pertains to how we throw things away not even bothering to try to fix them. Your computer starts acting up. You may call a local computer repair person or someone you think may able to help you. But before you hang up or just after you hang up, you decide that it isn’t worth the hassle and go to Wal-Mart, Staples or somewhere else to buy a brand new computer. And chances are what was wrong with the “old” one was one virus that you may have been able to get rid of through help on the Internet for free.

Okay, what is my point?

I think most of us give up too soon on anything and everything in life. We’re expecting to breeze through life with not very many curves or potholes in the road, let alone the flat tires and bad transmissions. To me, this really doesn’t seem to be living life to the fullest. It seems more like we want to watch it from the best seats in the theater. Yet, having the fullest life possible is exactly what we’re expecting to have. We seem to be wanting it both ways, which, of course, can’t be done.

What do you think? Is my perception peculiar or have we become a society of quitters, lazy do-nothings?

This post was created using a writing prompt from The Journal. If you’re interested in writing prompts, you may find this site helpful.


11 thoughts on “Cut Your Losses

  1. We are a society which thrives on instant gratification: not in a minute, right now!
    Seems no-one pulls together is all about ME and what I want. This is not progress. I worry about the current generation having to take over the reins. How will they survive?
    Good post, Glynis. Good for a little head scratching.


    1. Glynis Jolly

      Thanks for the compliment, Tess.

      There are still a few young people I see who aren’t afraid to ask the hard questions or find the answers that lurk in the shadows. Even so, will these few be enough for the future? I haven’t got a clue on that. For years now, I’ve been saying that today’s society is Rome falling all over again. 😦


  2. This is why schools are adding critical-thinking and problem-solving to student lessons. What did Albert Einstein say–“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”



    1. To varying degrees, critical thinking and problem-solving has always been a component of most classroom instruction. The issue comes in with how many administrators take a hands-off approach and just assume teachers are getting all of the expected standards in. The attitude to cut one’s losses is a factor that led to me leaving the classroom. Students are so coddled that they give up at the first sign of tension in their learning. It’s too bad because such tension is needed for real learning to take place.


      1. Glynis Jolly

        I’ve noticed the coddling too even though I haven’t been a substitute teacher for years. I wonder if the teachers and the parents are encouraging the student or just saying, “Do the best you can.” and then walking away. I had a few teachers like that and I did not like them.


    2. Glynis Jolly

      I had critical thinking and problem solving when I was in school way back when. Did they do away with that somewhere along the way? Even my son had to do these activities in school. Of course, that was over 20 years ago.

      Could you recommend a good book about Einstein’s life? He must have been a real character. 😀


  3. Well certainly not the older generation! Lol. It’s all these younger generations. They just seem to have a different mentality than people used to when marriage really meant til death do you part. Or remember when appliances were made to last forever, not a year or two? We have definitely become a throw away society. It’s sad.


    1. Glynis Jolly

      With economy pressers raising to heaven know where, we may see a time when we start keeping better care of what we have because if we don’t, we just won’t have it at all. It kind of reminds me of the movie, “The Postman”.


  4. I find myself agreeing with the concept that we have a large population of folks who are quite taken with instant gratification. Sadly, I feel this “achievement” isn’t one that makes a lasting impression. If I’m struggling with something, I want the feeling like I was wholly engaged, mind and body. I like the idea of problem solving or setting goals that require sweat equity. It’s so meaningful to me and I hang onto the effort and result for a very long time. It’s oftentimes the event that acts as a springboard for me, catapulting me onto the next challenge.
    Terrific essay, Glynis!


    1. Glynis Jolly

      Someone here in cyber space, who I converse with regularly said that often it isn’t the goal that is the most important; it’s the journey of getting there that is. I wish I could remember who said this but my issues with short-term memory loss are getting in the way. Because of this enlightenment, I decided to try my skill at writing a novel. I have a long way to go but the journey is interesting and challenging. It’s sad that most people today are losing out on the adventure, only wanting the end result.

      Liked by 1 person

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