Principal Appreciation Quotes

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He loved his family. But he was not proud of them. Their principal achievement was survival. It would take him a lifetime to appreciate what an achievement that was.
Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North)
In the morning a new man was behind the front desk. "And how did you enjoy your stay, Sir?" he asked smoothly. "It was singularly execrable," I replied. "Oh, excellent," he purred, taking my card "In fact, I would go so far as to say that the principal value of a stay in this establishment is that it is bound to make all subsequent service-related experiences seem, in comparison, refreshing." He made a deeply appreciative expression as if to say, "Praise indeed," and presnted my bill for signature. "Well, we hope you'll come again." "I would sooner have bowel surgery in the woods with a a stick." His expression wavered, then held there for a long moment. "Excellent," he said again, but without a great show of conviction.
Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country)
Fire and fury! These people didn’t appreciate my art, laughed at my clothes, my looks, and made fun of my protruding ears. ‘Floppy,’ they called me. And the teachers and principals let it all happen. They didn’t give a shit. Whatever got them through the day without conflict or controversy worked for the teachers, but where were the parents? They taught their kids to be elitist snobs. These deaths are on you, assholes!
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal High (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #5))
Sometimes one finds that their role in life is to be a supporting character to someone who is destined for greatness. Maybe the world at large doesn't appreciate it, but to the principal and the supporter it can be a very rewarding life. The opinion of the world doesn't really matter in such situations.
Lazlo Zalezac
Undertaking magical work should not a hasty decision. It is vital that people appreciate what it entails and have a basic understanding of magical principals before they are thrown in at the deep end.
Storm Constantine (Bast and Sekhmet: Eyes of Ra)
It is not possible to spend any prolonged period visiting public school classrooms without being appalled by the mutilation visible everywhere—mutilation of spontaneity, of joy in learning, or pleasure in creating, or sense of self. . . . Because adults take the schools so much for granted, they fail to appreciate what grim, joyless places most American schools are [they are much the same in most countries], how oppressive and petty are the rules by which they are governed, how intellectually sterile and esthetically barren the atmosphere, what an appalling lack of civility obtains on the part of teachers and principals, what contempt they unconsciously display for students as students.
John C. Holt (Escape From Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children)
the heart of a principal’s role: appreciating the individuality of the student body, seeking potential at every turn, and constantly striving to move the school forward in the face of constant change.
Ken Robinson (Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education)
People easily understand that 'primitives' cement their social order by believing in ghosts and spirits, and gathering each full moon to dance together around the campfire. What we fail to appreciate is that our modern institutions function on exactly the same basis. Take for example the world of business corporations, Modern business-people and lawyers are, in fact, powerful sorcerers. The principal difference between them and tribal shamans is that modern lawyers tell far stranger tales.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Just try it once — a tree, or at least a considerable section of sky, is to be seen anywhere. It does not even have to be blue sky; in some way or another the light of the sun always makes itself felt. Accustom yourself every morning to look for a moment at the sky and suddenly you will be aware of the air around you, the scent of morning freshness that is bestowed on you between sleep and labor. You will find every day that the gable of every house has its own particular look, its own special lighting. Pay it some heed if you will have for the rest of the day a remnant of satisfaction and a touch of coexistence with nature. Gradually and without effort the eye trains itself to transmit many small delights, to contemplate nature and the city streets, to appreciate the inexhaustible fun of daily life. From there on to the fully trained artistic eye is the smaller half of the journey; the principal thing is the beginning, the opening of the eyes.
Hermann Hesse
It is my twofold aim to explore, first, how Cretan myth was used during the early decades of the twentieth century as a mirror for modern history, society, and the psyche; and, second, how this new perception of myth permeated all the arts simultaneously, including literature, painting, sculpture, prints, opera, ballet, and the theater, as well as popular culture. My undertaking is based on the underlying conviction that the transfiguration of classical myth in general constitutes one of the principal characteristics of classical modernism, without a grasp of which that period of twentieth-century culture cannot be fully appreciated. Among these transfigured myths, none are more conspicuous than the matters of Minos.
Theodore Ziolkowski (Minos and the Moderns: Cretan Myth in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art (Classical Presences))
After dark on Saturday night one could stand on the first tee of the golf-course and see the country-club windows as a yellow expanse over a very black and wavy ocean. The waves of this ocean, so to speak, were the heads of many curious caddies, a few of the more ingenious chauffeurs, the golf professional's deaf sister--and there were usually several stray, diffident waves who might have rolled inside had they so desired. This was the gallery. The balcony was inside. It consisted of the circle of wicker chairs that lined the wall of the combination clubroom and ballroom. At these Saturday-night dances it was largely feminine; a great babel of middle-aged ladies with sharp eyes and icy hearts behind lorgnettes and large bosoms. The main function of the balcony was critical. It occasionally showed grudging admiration, but never approval, for it is well known among ladies over thirty-five that when the younger set dance in the summer-time it is with the very worst intentions in the world, and if they are not bombarded with stony eyes stray couples will dance weird barbaric interludes in the corners, and the more popular, more dangerous, girls will sometimes be kissed in the parked limousines of unsuspecting dowagers. But, after all, this critical circle is not close enough to the stage to see the actors' faces and catch the subtler byplay. It can only frown and lean, ask questions and make satisfactory deductions from its set of postulates, such as the one which states that every young man with a large income leads the life of a hunted partridge. It never really appreciates the drama of the shifting, semicruel world of adolescence. No; boxes, orchestra-circle, principals, and chorus are represented by the medley of faces and voices that sway to the plaintive African rhythm of Dyer's dance orchestra.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald)
People easily understand that ‘primitives’ cement their social order by believing in ghosts and spirits, and gathering each full moon to dance together around the campfire. What we fail to appreciate is that our modern institutions function on exactly the same basis. Take for example the world of business corporations. Modern businesspeople and lawyers are, in fact, powerful sorcerers. The principal difference between them and tribal shamans is that modern lawyers tell far stranger tales.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
People easily acknowledge that ‘primitive tribes’ cement their social order by believing in ghosts and spirits, and gathering each full moon to dance together around the campfire. What we fail to appreciate is that our modern institutions function on exactly the same basis. Take for example the world of business corporations. Modern businesspeople and lawyers are, in fact, powerful sorcerers. The principal difference between them and tribal shamans is that modern lawyers tell far stranger tales. The legend of Peugeot affords us a good example.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Yet none of these things [laws, justice, human rights, money] exists outside the stories that people invent and tell one another. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings. People easily understand that 'primitives' cement their social order by believing in ghosts and spirits, and gathering each full moon to dance together around the campfire. What we fail to appreciate is that our modern institutions function on exactly the same basis. Take for example the world of business corporations. Modern business-people and lawyers are, in fact, powerful sorcerers. The principal difference between them and tribal shamans is that modern lawyers tell far stranger stories.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
When we have to pay a lot for something nice, we appreciate it to the full. Yet as its price in the market falls, passion has a habit of fading away. Why, then, do we associate a cheap price with lack of value? Our response is a hangover from our long preindustrial past. For most of human history, there truly was a strong correlation between cost and value: The higher the price, the better things tended to be, because there was simply no way both for prices to be low and for quality to be high. It is not that we refuse to buy inexpensive or cheap things. It's just that getting excited over cheap things has come to seem a little bizarre. How do we reverse this? The answer lies in a slightly unexpected area: the mind of a four-year-old. Children have two advantages: They don't know what they're supposed to like and they don't understand money, so price is never a guide to value for them. We buy them a costly wooden toy made by Swedish artisans who hope to teach lessons in symmetry and find that they prefer the cardboard box that it came in. If asked to put a price on things, children tend to answer by the utility and charm of an object, not its manufacturing costs. We have been looking at prices the wrong way. We have fetishised them as tokens of intrinsic value; we have allowed them to set how much excitement we are allowed to have in given areas, how much joy is to be mined in particular places. But prices were never meant to be like this: We are breathing too much life into them and thereby dulling too many of our responses to the inexpensive world. At a certain age, something very debilitating happens to children. They start to learn about "expensive" and "cheap" and absorb the view that the more expensive something is, the better it may be. They are encouraged to think well of saving up pocket money and to see the "big" toy they are given as much better than the "cheaper" one. We can't directly go backwards; we can't forget what we know of prices. However, we can pay less attention to what things cost and more to our own responses. We need to rethink our relationship to prices. The price of something is principally determined by what it cost to make, not how much human value is potentially to be derived from it.
Alain de Botton (The School of Life: An Emotional Education)
People easily understand that ‘primitives’ cement their social order by believing in ghosts and spirits, and gathering each full moon to dance together around the campfire. What we fail to appreciate is that our modern institutions function on exactly the same basis. Take for example the world of business corporations. Modern businesspeople and lawyers are, in fact, powerful sorcerers. The principal difference between them and tribal shamans is that modern lawyers tell far stranger tales. The legend of Peugeot affords us a good example. An icon that somewhat resembles the Stadel lion-man appears today on cars, trucks and motorcycles from Paris to Sydney. It’s the hood ornament that adorns vehicles made by Peugeot, one of the oldest and largest of Europe’s carmakers. Peugeot began as a small family business in the village of Valentigney, just 200 miles from the Stadel Cave. Today the company employs about 200,000 people worldwide, most of whom are complete strangers to each other. These strangers cooperate so effectively that in 2008 Peugeot produced more than 1.5 million automobiles, earning revenues of about 55 billion euros.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
It was perhaps, then, not surprising that it was Colonel Beppo Schmid, not General Martini, who on 16 July submitted to Göring the principal intelligence appreciation of the RAF, which became the basis for the Luftwaffe General Staff’s plans. He underestimated the strength of squadrons, claiming they were eighteen aircraft strong, when in fact they had between twenty-two and twenty-four aircraft. He also stated that only a limited number of airfields could be considered operational with modern maintenance and supply installations, which was nonsense. He badly underestimated current aircraft production figures to the tune of about 50 per cent and claimed there was ‘little strategic flexibility’, when, in fact, Dowding’s air defence system provided exactly the opposite. The Me110, he claimed, was a superior fighter to the Hurricane. Even more glaring were the omissions. The Luftwaffe had no concept of how the air defence system worked, no concept of there being three different commands – Fighter, Coastal and Bomber – and no understanding of how repairs were organized. ‘The Luftwaffe is clearly superior to the RAF,’ he concluded, ‘as regards strength, equipment, training, command and location of bases.’7 He was correct in terms of strength only. The rest of his claims were utter twaddle. On the eve of Adlertag, Schmid further reassured the Luftwaffe General Staff that some 350 British fighters had been destroyed since the beginning of July and that they were already being shot down faster than they could be produced. In fact, up to 12 August, 181 had been destroyed and more than 700 new fighter aircraft built.8 The gulf between fact and fiction was quite startling.
James Holland (The War in the West - A New History: Volume 1: Germany Ascendant 1939-1941 (A New History Vol 1))
When man rebelled against God, the passions rebelled against reason – and from this arose all the difficulties which we encounter in the practice of virtue. Thus we see that many who appreciate virtue refuse to practice it, just as sick men earnestly desire health, but refuse the unpalatable remedies which alone would restore it. As this repugnance is the principal barrier to virtue, which, when known, is always valued and loved, if we succeed in proving that there is little foundation for such repugnance we shall have accomplished a good work.
Louis of Granada (The Sinner's Guide)
Our principal sources of knowledge of this great Pagan religious system are the two Eddas of Iceland. These Eddas are collections of mythical and heroic poems and stories. One is called the Elder or Poetic Edda; the other, Snorri’s or the Prose Edda. The latter was discovered first; it came into the possession of appreciative scholars in the seventeenth century, by whom it was studied and carefully preserved. The
Donald A. Mackenzie (Teutonic Myth and Legend)
Things had been different when Garveyism and Ethiopianism rather than afro-centrism and occultism set the tone. To contain modernity, to appreciate its colonial constitution and to criticise its reliance on racialised governmental codes all required finding an autonomous space outside it. A desire to exist elsewhere supplied the governing impulse. It was captured in compelling forms in the period's best songs of longing and flight, like Bunny Wailer's anthem ‘Dreamland’ 5. However, there is no longer any uncontaminated, pastoral or romantic location to which opposition and dissent might fly, and so, a new culture of consolation has been fashioned in which being against this tainted modernity has come to mean being before it. Comparable investments in the restorative power of the pseudo-archaic occur elsewhere. They help to make Harry Potter's world attractive and are routine features of much ‘new age’ thinking. They govern the quest for a repudiation of modernity that is shared by the various versions of Islam which have largely eclipsed Ethiopianism as the principal spiritual resource and wellspring of critique among young black Europeans. Their desire to find an exit from consumerism's triumphant phantasmagoria reveals them to be bereft, adrift without the guidance they would have absorbed, more indirectly than formally, from the national liberation movements of the cold war period and the struggles for both civil and human rights with which they were connected. Instead, an America-centred, consumer-oriented culture of blackness has become prominent. In this post-colonial setting, it conditions the dreams of many young Britons, irrespective of their ancestral origins or physical appearance. This brash and celebratory imperial formation is barely embarrassed by the geo-political fault-line that re-divides the world, opposing the overdeveloped north to the suffering south. That barrier provides the defining element in a new topography of global power which is making heavy demands upon the overwhelmingly national character of civil society and ideal of national citizenship. It is clear that the versions of black politics that belonged to the west/rest polarity will not adapt easily to this new configuration.
Paul Gilroy (There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack (Routledge Classics))
night and I think she was almost as excited as we were. It had also been arranged for the school concert band to play. This was the regular choice for grad and I guessed their traditional style along with all the saxophones, trumpets and flutes was the kind that usually performed at school ceremonies. But much to our surprise, Mrs. Harding didn’t want our graduation to be completely traditional. And added to that, she also wanted to display some of the talents in the graduating grade. I really appreciated her for saying that. It was so awesome she felt that way, particularly as she was the school principal.
Katrina Kahler (Changes (Julia Jones' Diary #6))
Although the federal government had been trying to persuade middle-class families to buy single-family homes for more than fourteen years, the campaign had achieved little by the time Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933. Homeownership remained prohibitively expensive for working- and middle-class families: bank mortgages typically required 50 percent down, interest-only payments, and repayment in full after five to seven years, at which point the borrower would have to refinance or find another bank to issue a new mortgage with similar terms. Few urban working- and middle-class families had the financial capacity to do what was being asked. The Depression made the housing crisis even worse. Many property-owning families with mortgages couldn't make their payments and were subject to foreclosure. With most others unable to afford homes at all, the construction industry was stalled. The New Deal designed one program to support existing homeowners who couldn't make payments, and another to make first-time homeownership possible for the middle class. In 1933, to rescue households that were about to default, the administration created the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC). It purchased existing mortgages that were subject to imminent foreclosure and then issued new mortgages with repayment schedules of up to fifteen years (later extended to twenty-five years). In addition, HOLC mortgages were amortized, meaning that each month's payment included some principal as well as interest, so when the loan was paid off, the borrower would own the home. Thus, for the first time, working- and middle-class homeowners could gradually gain equity while their properties were still mortgaged. If a family with an amortized mortgage sold its home, the equity (including any appreciation) would be the family's to keep. HOLC mortgages had low interest rates, but the borrowers still were obligated to make regular payments. The HOLC, therefore, had to exercise prudence about. its borrowers' abilities to avoid default. to assess risk, the HOLC wanted to know something about the condition of the house and of surrounding houses in the neighborhood to see whether the property would likely maintain its value. The HOLC hired local real estate agents to make the appraisals on which refinancing decisions could be based. With these agents required by their national ethics code to maintain segregation, it's not surprising that in gauging risk HOLK considered the racial composition of neighborhoods. The HOLC created color-coded maps of every metropolitan area in the nation, with the safest neighborhoods colored green and the riskiest colored red. A neighborhood earned a red color if African Americans lived in it, even if it was a solid middle-class neighborhood of single-family homes. For example, in St. Louis, the white middle-class suburb of Ladue was colored green because, according to an HOLC appraiser in 1940, it had 'not a single foreigner or negro.' The similarly middle-class suburban area of Lincoln Terrace was colored red because it had 'little or no value today . . . due to the colored element now controlling the district.' Although HOLC did not always decline to rescue homeowners in neighborhoods colored red on its maps (i.e., redlined neighborhoods), the maps had a huge impact and put the federal government on record as judging that African Americans, simply because of their race, were poor risks.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
the interest and principal payments on good bonds are much better protected and therefore more certain than the dividends and price appreciation on stocks.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
People easily understand that ‘primitives’ cement their social order by believing in ghosts and spirits, and gathering each full moon to dance together around the campfire. What we fail to appreciate is that our modern institutions function on exactly the same basis. Take for example the world of business corporations. Modern business-people and lawyers are, in fact, powerful sorcerers. The principal difference between them and tribal shamans is that modern lawyers tell far stranger tales.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Next to knowledge, commerce was the mainspring of the mobility of Muslim society. The power of money was fully understood by scholars. Their own relative poverty as contrasted to the wealth of the commercial and landholding segments of society remained for them an article of faith - rmly to be believed in and constantly to be proclaimed. Not very many among them might have shown appreciation for the sentiment that the principal merit of knowledge was to help a poor man to be satisfi ed with his lot. As so many other vital concerns, the bitterness of the poorly rewarded intellectual was most vividly put into words by Abû Hayyân at-Tawhidî in the tenth century. From later times, we can document what no doubt had always been the actual situation, namely, that a certain middle-class prosperity based on commercial activity was the background from which scholars most commonly came (unless, perhaps, they happened to be born into a scholarly family of established standing, but even these usually possessed commercial connections). Those who overcame grinding poverty to become prominent in scholarship were but a small minority, albeit a remarkable one. It would be diffi cult to venture any kind of general statement on the social background of Muslim mystics. Whatever it was, they quite naturally rejected wealth in favor of spiritual values, at least in theory.
Franz Rosenthal (Knowledge Triumphant: The Concept of Knowledge in Medieval Islam (Brill Classics in Islam))
It nevertheless remains true that, in most countries for which long-run data are available, stocks have out-performed bonds – by a factor of roughly five over the twentieth century.9 This can scarcely surprise us. Bonds, as we saw in Chapter 2, are no more than promises by governments to pay interest and ultimately repay principal over a specified period of time. Either through default or through currency depreciation, many governments have failed to honour those promises. By contrast, a share is a portion of the capital of a profit-making corporation. If the company succeeds in its undertakings, there will not only be dividends, but also a significant probability of capital appreciation. There are of course risks, too. The returns on stocks are less predictable and more volatile than the returns on bonds and bills. There is a significantly higher probability that the average corporation will go bankrupt and cease to exist than that the average sovereign state will disappear. In the event of a corporate bankruptcy, the holders of bonds and other forms of debt will be satisfied first; the equity holders may end up with nothing. For these reasons, economists see the superior returns on stocks as capturing an ‘equity risk premium’ – though clearly in some cases this has been a risk well worth taking.
Niall Ferguson (The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World)
if I can buy shares in a joint stock company, that promises a constant supply of revenue, then why not buy shares, in a similar way, in the king’s debt? If you wanted your money back you could sell your share to another, who would receive the interest in your place. There was no reason why the king should repay the principal for twenty years, as long as he could continue the interest. It was perpetual, like Myddelton’s water supply, or the Virginia Company, or the East India, or any of the other great joint stock companies. His appreciation of the idea was not so much mathematical as instinctive: a sense of endless flow. The flow of money, like a golden river, through the city. Julius Ducket had just invented government debt.
Edward Rutherfurd (London)
The president was right to focus his attention on trying to get schools opened for a host of reasons, and principally the important role that in-class instruction plays for children. But the White House had failed to hone in on a root cause for why many districts remained shut. The CDC’s guidelines were the single greatest obstacle. I was speaking to the White House over this time period, and some officials there didn’t fully appreciate how much impact the six-foot requirement was having on efforts to reopen schools in the fall. They didn’t connect the lines between their policy goals, the parts of the pandemic plan that impacted those objectives, and the actions of the CDC that frustrated these outcomes. It was a breakdown in policymaking, and the way the pandemic playbook was implemented, that would plague other aspects of our response.
Scott Gottlieb (Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic)
Ponzi borrower’ borrows based on the belief that the appreciation of the value of the asset will be sufficient to refinance the debt but could not make sufficient payments on interest or principal with the cash flow from investments. Only the appreciating asset value can keep the Ponzi borrower afloat. If the use of Ponzi finance is general enough in the financial system, then the inevitable default by the Ponzi borrower can cause the financial system to go into seizure when the bubble pops and asset prices stop increasing and the banks/markets stop lending.
Sandeep Hasurkar (NEVER TOO BIG TO FAIL: The Collapse of IL&FS and its Ten Trillion-Rupee Maze)
At any rate, I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT SELF-DEFENSE IS BEING TAUGHT WRONG NEARLY EVERYWHERE, FOR THE FOLLOWING MAJOR REASONS: 1. Beginners are not grounded in the four principal methods of putting the body-weight into fast motion: (a) FALLING STEP, (b) LEG SPRING, (c) SHOULDER WHIRL, (d) UPWARD SURGE. 2. The extremely important POWER LINE in punching seems to have been forgotten. 3. The wholesale failure of instructors and trainers to appreciate the close cooperation necessary between the POWER LINE and WEIGHTMOTION results generally in impure punching-weak hitting. 4. Explosive straight punching has become almost a lost art because instructors place so much emphasis on shoulder whirl that beginners are taught wrongfully to punch straight 'without stepping whenever possible. 5. Failure to teach the FALLING STEP ("trigger step") for straight punching has resulted in the LEFT JAB being used generally as a light, auxiliary weapon for making openings and "setting up," instead of as a stunning blow. 6. Beginners are not shown the difference between SHOVEL HOOKS and UPPERCUTS. 7. Beginners are not warned that taking LONG STEPS with hooks may open up those hooks into SWINGS. 8. The BOB-WEAVE rarely is explained properly. 9. Necessity for the THREE-KNUCKLE LANDING is never pointed out. 10. It is my personal belief that BEGINNERS SHOULD BE TAUGHT ALL TYPES OF PUNCHES BEFORE BEING INSTRUCTED IN DEFENSIVE MOVES, for nearly every defensive move should be accompanied by a simultaneous or a delayed counterpunch. You must know how to punch and you must have punching confidence before you can learn aggressive defense.
Jack Dempsey (Toledo arts: championship fighting and agressive defence)
Why did Lehi explain his doctrine regarding “opposition in all things” in such detail? (2:13) “The law of opposites creates a condition in which there are ‘things . . . to act [or] be acted upon.’ “Lehi’s essential teaching is not simply that opposites exist but that they function to create situations in which ‘things’ either act or are acted upon. While we typically concentrate on the opposed conditions, it is really this ‘acting’ that is the point of Lehi’s argument. The opposites merely provide the field in which ‘acting upon’ occurs” (Gardner, Second Witness, 44). Why couldn’t man “act for himself” without opposition? (2:15–16) “One of the principal purposes of mortality is for man to have the opportunity to learn the difference between right and wrong and between good and evil. This knowledge is necessary to gain the spiritual maturity to make righteous choices. . . . We came to mortal life to encounter resistance. It is part of the plan for our eternal progress. Without temptation, sickness, pain, and sorrow, there could be no goodness, virtue, appreciation for well-being, or joy. The law of opposition makes freedom of choice possible” (Teachings of Howard W. Hunter,
Thomas R. Valletta (The Book of Mormon Study Guide: Start to Finish, Revised Edition)
where a = accumulated future value, p = principal or present value, r = rate of return in percentage terms, and n = number of compounding periods. All too often, management teams focus on the r variable in this equation. They seek instant gratification, with high profit margins and high growth in reported earnings per share (EPS) in the near term, as opposed to initiatives that would lead to a much more valuable business many years down the line. This causes many management teams to pass on investments that would create long-term value but would cause “accounting numbers” to look bad in the short term. Pressure from analysts can inadvertently incentivize companies to make as much money as possible off their present customers to report good quarterly numbers, instead of offering a fair price that creates enduring goodwill and a long-term win–win relationship for all stakeholders. The businesses that buy commodities and sell brands and have strong pricing power (typically depicted by high gross margins) should always remember that possessing pricing power is like having access to a large amount of credit. You may have it in abundance, but you must use it sparingly. Having pricing power doesn’t mean you exercise it right away. Consumer surplus is a great strategy, especially for subscription-based business models in which management should primarily focus on habit formation and making renewals a no-brainer. Most businesses fail to appreciate this delicate trade-off between high short-term profitability and the longevity accorded to the business through disciplined pricing and offering great customer value. The few businesses that do understand this trade-off always display “pain today, gain tomorrow” thinking in their daily decisions.
Gautam Baid (The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning, Revised and Updated (Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing Series))
Holly Berries A Confederate Christmas Story by Refugitta There was, first, behind the clear crystal pane, a mammoth turkey, so fat that it must have submitted to be killed from sheer inability to eat and move, hung all around with sausage balls and embowered in crisp white celery with its feathered tops. Many a belated housekeeper or father of a family, passing by, cast loving glances at the monster bird, and turned away with their hands on depleted purses and arms full of brown paper parcels. Then there were straw baskets of eggs, white and shining with the delightful prospect of translation into future eggnogs; pale yellow butter stamped with ears of corn, bee hives, and statuesque cows with their tails in an attitude. But these were all substantials, and the principal attraction was the opposition window, where great pyramids of golden oranges, scaly brown pineapples, festoons of bananas, boxes of figs and raisins with their covers thrown temptingly aside, foreign sauces and pickles, cheeses, and gilded walnuts were arranged in picturesque regularity, jut, as it seemed, almost within reach of one’s olfactories and mouth, until a closer proximity realized the fact of that thick plate glass between. Inside it was just the same: there were barrels and boxes in a perfect wilderness; curious old foreign packages and chests, savory of rare teas and rarer jellies; cinnamon odors like gales from Araby meeting you at every turn; but yet everything, from the shining mahogany counter under the brilliant gaslight, up to the broad, clean, round face of the jolly grocer Pin, was so neat and orderly and inviting that you felt inclined to believe yourself requested to come in and take off things by the pocketful, without paying a solitary cent. I acknowledge that it was an unreasonable distribution of favors for Mr. Pin to own, all to himself, this abundance of good things. Now, in my opinion, little children ought to be the shop keepers when there are apples and oranges to be sold, and I know they will all agree with me, for I well remember my earliest ambition was that my papa would turn confectioner, and then I could eat my way right through the store. But our friend John Pin was an appreciative person, and not by any means forgetful of his benefits. All day long and throughout the short afternoon, his domain had been thronged with busy buyers, old and young, and himself and his assistant (a meager-looking young man of about the dimensions of a knitting needle) constantly employed in supplying their demands. From the Southern Illustrated News.
Philip van Doren Stern (The Civil War Christmas Album)
Mysore, one of the greatest princely states, was famously progressive and more industrialised than any other part of India. In Baroda, the British did its people a favour by deposing a Maharajah who spent his time commissioning carpets of pearls, and installing in his place a young prince who would earn the love and respect of his subjects by far-sighted policy. In the 1940s, the ruler of Jaipur imported a minister from Mysore and sought to replicate its successes in his desert principality, starting schools, abolishing purdah, and so on. And, of course, in the south there was Travancore, guided by a line of fairly enlightened rulers into the higher echelons of progressive governance, winning appreciation from all quarters.
Manu S. Pillai (The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore)