Upside and downside of bankruptcy

I sometimes think of my mobile phone going out of charge as being similar to filing bankruptcy – if the phone is at 1% battery, the loss is “linear” – all I need to do is to plug it back in and once it’s charged again it’ll function as it used to. There is no “non-linear” loss.

Phone going from 1% to 0% changes that, though. Now, even if you were to plug in the phone as soon as it has gone to 0%, you cannot switch it on till it gets back to some level of battery (that’s the case with my current and earlier androids. Not sure about other phones). Thus, you have a non-linear extra cost because you let the phone hit 0%.

It is similar to bankruptcy in that once you file for bankruptcy you are suddenly piled on with additional paperwork and costs and even if you were to “get charged up”, there will be additional costs that you will have to bear that you wouldn’t have to had you managed to find a plug (funding) when you were close to blackout (bankruptcy) but not yet there! This is the downside of bankruptcy – it imposes non linear costs.

But then there is an upside also – maybe this is a different kind of bankruptcy, but this is one that has upside. Maybe the bankruptcy that I’m going to talk about now is what is called as “Chapter 11” in the US while what I described earlier is like “Chapter 7” (do you know that US bankruptcy law is inspired by the Mahabharata? In the great Mahabharata war, the two sides had 7 and 11 regiments respectively. And since it was a disastrous war, the numbers 7 and 11 were picked up by the US bankruptcy lawmakers to name their different kinds of bankruptcy).

So there are times when I have a lot of things to do. I would have bitten off more than I could chew. And I find that I have so many things to do that just thinking about all the things I have to do in that limited time mess up my mind and not allow me to do any of them. It is at such points in time that I sometimes “declare bankruptcy” – declare that I’m not going to do any of the things that I’m supposed to do.

Now, the pressure is off. Since I’ve decided I don’t want to do anything, whatever I do after that is a bonus. Now I can take up these tasks one by one and do more than what I would have had I not decided to declare bankruptcy. There is some downside of course – some tasks might remain incomplete, but importantly more gets done than if I’d declared bankruptcy!

This is the good side of bankruptcy!

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