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“Freedom without Order is anarchy. Order without Freedom is slavery.”

~ Jonathan Sacks

I am enjoying Jonathan Sacks’ book on “Covenant & Conversations” as this statement jumps out. Life is often a balance of ease and tension.

Authoritative parents often lead to rebellious children, and permissive parenting usually leads to children without discipline. It’s a tough call, and parents generally take time to iterate and find that rhythm. Add to that; the different personalities that each child possesses, and it’s just a confluence of variables that parents deal with daily.

The same is with our choices in life. We regularly have to balance the pros and cons and the cost-benefit of each decision we make. How we make that decision is based on the values we carry and hold dear.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, we see many extreme choices being made without consideration of ease and tension—for example, the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). One of its pitfalls had to do with the bank focusing on that single segment of serving venture builders and an even narrower focus on the same kinds of investment within the space. Its focus on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion did not include the diversity of its portfolio. When a VC giant such as Peter Thiel advised his start-ups to withdraw monies from SVB, it contributed to a bank run simply because SVB’s customers were not diversified.

This builds on our previous topic regarding substance over form. As we face the tension in life and decision-making, we must consider the consequence of not considering the other end of the spectrum and address these concerns to be somewhat ready for it. We should be clear about our convictions and passionate about what we believe in, but we need to hold the tension delicately. The more significant the impact of our decisions, the more delicately we should consider the ease and tension. Freedom is good, but without order, it leads to anarchy. Similarly, Order is good, but without Freedom being considered, Complete Order leads to Slavery.