I recently heard a friend describe the practice of midwifery as “planning for the inevitable.” Here in Cascadia, where I live, a catastrophic earthquake is inevitable – anytime between today and about two- or three hundred years from now (give or take.) Governments and agencies at various levels, like expectant parents, are planning for the inevitable.
Both events share a high level of predictability as well as probability (which we interpret as inevitability.) Both occurrences have happened in the past; therefore, we have a pretty good idea of the range of results we can expect and what we need to do prepare for them. The difference in our response between an earthquake and a baby has to do with their relative timelines, sizes and implications.
The scale of major events makes planning for them much more difficult. By virtue of their size, they probably involve a larger adaptive component than a technical one (more on that in another post).
When it comes to the future and the action we take now, scale is a psychological throttle. Nevertheless, if something in your future is inevitable and predictable, regardless of scale, not planning for it is short sighted.
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