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Isaiah and Cervantes on Bread


“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
 Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
 Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.”

The Bible – Isaiah 55: 1-3

What are you buying with your time, effort, money and attention? Is it worth the price you’re paying?

What valuable things could and should you be buying – for free? What will make labouring on your project, in your organisation, satisfying? What are you offering to others?


“But Señor Uncle, who has involved your grace in those disputes? Wouldn’t it be better to stay peacefully in your house and not wander around the world searching for bread made from something better than wheat, never stopping to think that many people go looking for wool and come back shorn?”

Cervantes – Don Quixote

What are you chasing? Does it exist? Is it worth (the risk of) coming back shorn? (Make sure it is)*

See also:

Whose fool are you?

Ben Horowitz on Organisational Culture

“This might not work.”

*This passage from Cervantes reminds me of this from Marx:

“He, who before was the money-owner, now strides in front as capitalist; the possessor of labour-power follows as his labourer. The one with an air of importance, smirking, intent on business; the other, timid and holding back, like one who is bringing his own hide to market and has nothing to expect but — a hiding.”Capital

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...