[FOUNTAIN]A good start is importantThe significance of a new beginning is always special. Making resolutions every year is a sacred ritual that reminds us of the meaning of a new start. Even though one may not be unable to adhere to all the resolutions made at the beginning of the year, starting something new itself is important. If there is no start, there can be no end and no accomplishment.
Ancient Greek philosophers were particularly interested in the concept of “beginnings.”
Plato said, “The beginning is the most important part of the work” and “A work well begun is half ended.” (from the Republic ) Herodotus also said, “He who has begun his task has half done it.”
Whether in the East or the West, “The beginning is half of all” is a proverb that has existed for a long time, which shows societies have always focused on the importance of beginnings.
Older generations believed that starting was fifty percent of completing any kind of task. Korean professional go players give white stone players a 6.5 point compensation because the black stone player places first, demonstrating the advantage of starting first.
The so-called “snowball effect” is a theory that demonstrates the importance of starting. This refers to the phenomenon of a small snowball rolling down a hill and amassing snow until it becomes an untamable force.
Compared to the domino effect where falling dominos move at a constant speed, the importance of the beginning in the snowball effect is clearer because the effect drastically amplifies.
Of course, the direction where the snowball rolls to makes a huge difference. If the snowball is set in the right direction, it will garner enormous benefits; however, if the snowball rolls in an undesirable direction, the results can be irreparable and devastating.
The butterfly effect is a theory that dramatizes the importance of a good start. It is a scientific theory that states a butterfly flapping its wings in Beijing can cause a storm in New York the following month.
This theory, which was derived by meteorologist Edward Lorentz observing atmospheric conditions in 1961, stresses the “sensitive dependence on initial conditions.” Small initial changes can eventually induce enormous change.
Yesterday was the first day of the Year of the Pig, but most work places resume work today. Regardless of the snowball or the butterfly effect, taking the right first step is important. More than anything, starting fresh is important even when making the most trivial of resolutions.
The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Kim Jong-soo
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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