Cash’s View of Symmetry

shrubIn many ways I have lived my life with symmetry all around me. Being an accounting professor, I told my students in my basic accounting course, that balance sheets must always balance and that a firm’s Assets must always equal Liabilities plus Equity.

I go on to tell them that Debits must always equal Credits. Given that these relationships must hold true, I have always suggested to my students that this should ensure they would achieve a score of 100% on every accounting test they ever took.

But a number of years ago while I lived in New Jersey i was given a wake-up call. I had hired a landscape architect to design a plan for the front of my home. He showed me his artist’s rendering and the shapes and colors of the various plant life that would adorn my property. It was quite impressive.

But I was holding back. I was having difficulty relating to his drawing. He could see that my reaction was somewhat stilted and that I was not emotionally involved in the proposal. He asked me what was wrong. Although the plan was impressive and well thought out, I asked him the question that was haunting me the entire time.

“Why are the bushes on the left side of my property different than the ones on the right side?” There it was. I had vocalized my concerns.

He looked at me and said, “You must be an accountant.”

 “How did you know?” I asked.

“Because you believe that everything on the left side has to equal everything on the right.”

I never felt so low .

I turned to him and said. “I’m the accountant but you’re the artist. Go ahead with your plan.”

And that my friends is why if you ever drive by my old residence, that the shrubs on the left are different from the ones on the right.

It was the first time I embraced an asymmetrical life, and it felt good.


P’S. How do you live your life? With symmetry, well thought out variation or with reckless abandon? Please comment.  [mc4wp-form]