The cost of preparedness

The cost of preparedness

Is there such thing as being overprepared? Or is overpreparedness simply a product of anxiety and the need to prepare for something?

Today’s parable separates the wise and the foolish in terms of how prepared the former was and how “chill” the latter seemed to be. When crunch time came, the prepared virgins were able to celebrate with the bridegroom; while the unprepared virgins were locked out the venue for having moved out just to search for extra oil for their lamps.

It’s easy to fault the foolish virgins because they did not foresee or were too lazy to have backup plans. But I sometimes wonder about the costs of being prepared and the expectations that come from being wise, like how the wise virgins were.

Did they feel anxious? What if their backup plan didn’t work out too? Would they blame themselves because their preparations were not enough to address the contingencies that happened?

The burden to a person who tries to be wise is quite heavy, ridden with self-doubts and anxiety. A wise person seeks to correct one’s self and anticipate all possible scenarios, while accounting for what is controllable and uncontrollable.

In a way, there is cost and investment to pursuing a more virtuous life. When anxiety and pressure levels are rising, either we are purified or we burn out. But it’s important to have faith that there are infinite chances, or at least as many chances as we need, to grow and be better.

Matthew 25:1-13. The Parable of the Ten Virgins


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