Keith - Ada, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Imagine a perfect world, a world in which society is ultimately and exclusively productive. From every level of ability, a society of efficiency is constructed. The lower class performs manual labor. Women of superior genetic traits are bred with the finest of men, while the rest are forced to be the caretakers of society and its children. Men of a higher stature spend all their time providing food for the people, healthcare, and advances in technology and science. There is no marriage. Relationships are a waste of time. This perfect world is a society of production, efficiency, and work, but if I had the choice, I would stay on Earth.

Earth is where people love, and fail, and believe, and trust. It is where people are allowed faults non-befitting a “perfect” world. Inefficiency and the ability to fail are what make a human part of mankind. A person needs time of relaxation in order to truly appreciate time spent benefiting society. In the same way, in order to give credence to an act of kindness, efficiency must be laid aside, if only for a moment.

I believe that care is found in inefficiency. It must be a sacrifice to productivity, a selfless act of kindness without qualifications. Inefficiency is what humankind turns to when life grows difficult. Increases in technology, new products driving the economy, or a protective government that gives the human race its longevity does not produce happiness. The time between advancement, between money making and reforms, the time spent doing nothing accomplishes more than everything else. Time spent nurturing the human spirit, give flowers on a rainy day, visiting a loved relative unexpectedly, or singing a song to the elderly on Christmas Eve: these times are what we remember. Life would be shallow and impossibly discouraging without essential incidents of inefficiency and love.

I believe people must make more use of time spent inefficiently. An afternoon reading a book to your child, a morning around a cup of coffee with friends, or a game of golf alongside business partners can be the most valuable experiences of one’s life. Inefficiency, used effectively, is the perfect instrument of care.