Horse Trading

Horse trading, in its literal sense, refers to the buying and selling of horses, also called “horse dealing.” Due to the difficulties in evaluating the merits of a horse offered for sale, the sale of horses offered great opportunities for dishonesty, leading to use of the term horse trading (or horsetrading) to refer to complex bargaining or other transactions, such as political vote trading. It was expected that horse sellers would capitalize on these opportunities and so those who dealt in horses gained a reputation for underhanded business practices.

We are no doubt familiar with the expression, “It’s all how you look at it!” The implication is that if you characterize a problem differently it may become less of an annoyance. Though the adage was never marketed as an incontrovertible guarantee it nonetheless promoted at least a different view of a matter, one which hopefully would render a more digestible conclusion. Sometimes the exercise is sufficiently performed merely to acknowledge that an overall consideration one’s particular dilemmas are at best fleeting or recoverable.  This is perhaps the weakest or least forceful analysis of the proposal.  Where however the maxim gathers penetrable influence and strength is when engineering control of destiny.

This philosophic crystallization of the seemingly trifling recommendation succeeds to remove one from the grip of displeasure. The fact that one is currently consumed by discomposure does not mean one should stay there. The thrust of the dilemma is only that it irks. We either get rid of the dilemma or get rid of the irk.

Be warned that combining this philosophic engineering with the reality of the problem may only come at a price, itself a matter of no small concern for some. The truth is that there are problems; and fixing them can be costly.  You can ion the other hand ignore them, look away from them, bury them or dispose of them. You can also live with them.  Choosing to “look at it” through untroubled bliss, while obviously not overcoming the situation, eliminates whatever singularity may have otherwise applied.

It is useful as well to recall that having a problem and being the problem are separate matters. It is axiomatic that if the problem fails to trouble then the trouble fails as a problem. While this may not be perceived the ideal result it encourages one to rise above the swirl of inevitable misfortune. Nor is this more easily said than done.  The intelligence attaching to this stratagem is to achieve the isolation of oneself from the embryo of the controversy. With rare exception most problems will not kill you. What remains is either merely within the eddies of life; or it attaches to one as a germ.