Thousand year old wisdom*: on oxen and mangers

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
    but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.

The Bible – Book of Proverbs

Oxen are hungry beasts. If you worked a farm and owned a pair, it might be easy to look at the volume of grain and grass they ate and think that you’d be better off without the drain on your resources.

The point – in my reading, at any rate – is that you’re able to fill the manger and have more than enough to eat precisely because of the oxen.

We could apply this logic to software licenses, physical maintenance, employees salaries and benefits…

Before we ask if we’re spending too much on something, we need to ask what that spending enables, and if it brings in more than it costs.

Oxen? Of course. Feed them.

Dancing ponies or other high-maintenance animals? Not on a farm, but maybe in a circus.

*Oh okay, two-and-a-half thousandish year old wisdom

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