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The Barrel, The Ladder & The Wall

thebarrelBy: Jerry Petermann, 2016

Curious title? Yes, but illustrative for our discussion.

Often an analogy serves best to make a point. We will explore three.

The Barrel
In the world of pickles and whisky, a wooden barrel is the ideal storage vessel. Some people even advertise how their liquor or beer is aged in oak barrels. Laudable, as they even claim to make their barrels for that very purpose.

Now, in the construction of a well-made wooden barrel, the pieces known as staves, must be crafted with perfection to make a liquid tight construction. Even these “perfect” staves must be held in place by some external force; metal bands, to maintain integrity. Should some other external force be placed on the barrel, in most cases these bands will resist catastrophic failure. However, should an external force be applied to a single stave, the entire barrel might collapse, as together all are strong but individually, they are not.

The human body’s complex systems are rather like a barrel of wooden staves held together with “bands” of proper diet, exercise, mental well-being, hydration, supplementation and rest.