Wednesday, January 2, 2013


THE VIEWS OF AN ACCOUNTANT AND AN ECONOMIST … A relative who is trained as a business economist sent me a text lately – one that he has sent me some time ago also. An accountant and an economist were standing on a hill overlooking a valley blessed with natural resources. The accountant said: “I’ll valuate all these resources.” The economist hesitantly said: “I wish I could place a value on the very air that we are breathing.” When I first got that message, I thought about the fact that two people can look at the same view but still “see” different things – and have different thoughts. One can see the trees and miss the bush, while the other can see the bush and miss the trees. I told my relative that it seemed to me that economists thought more like scientists – in a sense, they are scientists. With my experience of gathering weather data and learning about the El Niño/La Niña episodes, I have appreciated the way meteorologists/weather scientists/farmers assess weather and the times and plan appropriately. In ages past, our people read the signs in the sky and the sea (the stars, the rising sun over the horizon, the currents and tides of the sea, colour of the sea, etc) and fished, made gardens or plan voyages. They also were very good “scientists”, “economists” and “accountants” in the old days. Studying the Hiri Trade with my step-mother’s people has made me appreciate the ingenuity that our people possessed in planning and building canoes, houses and gardens in preparation for times ahead. We all should learn to “see”, read the times and plan appropriately to move to the next level in life.       

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