Life is beyond profit and loss statement


“Why should I pay and sustain a woman who has joined my organization recently, hasn’t served me enough, and then goes on maternity leave?” said a colleague of mine. While people (including me) found this opinion bordering blasphemous, I gave some thought to this later on.

Even though my colleague’s thoughts do not matter, I am evolving into a free-speech absolutist. Nothing should be shunned, no thought should be considered blasphemous unless it is a call to violence. From that position, we should let’s think through this idea.

From a pure profit-loss perspective, this may be understandable. What if the lady resigns immediately after she joins back after maternity leave?

But life is not transactional all the time and beyond such myopia. At times, taking a step back allows the bigger picture emerges. Having said that, in this case, supporting maternity is more of a social responsibility, than a legal obligation.

That woman, who you support, voluntarily or involuntarily is bearing the next generation of society. That generation will take the nation and humanity forward. And who knows, that child may go on to become a pillar of society.

Let’s view this from a counterfactual perspective. What will be the higher-order effects if a mother is not supported in such cases? The first-order effect could range anywhere from women’s career gap to low conception. Women may either choose not to have kids or they may leave their careers. Even if they choose a middle ground, they won’t get enough rest to recuperate.

And what are the potential second-order effects? This myopia may lead to the deteriorating health of the mother, insufficient care for the child, and thus, a potentially underdeveloped and frustrated next generation as the third-order effect.

But fortunately, our policymakers are wise enough. But, the present and coming generations need to understand the first principles, so that we do not make decisions without thinking through the higher-order effects.


By the way, the writer of this article is one of the Authors of Aryaa –  An Anthology of Vedic women. His story is about Shakuntala, a great mother who birthed and brought up the civilizational anchor of Bharatvarsha: Emperor Bharata. To know more about the Anthology, read this article. To buy Aryaa – An Anthology of Vedic Women, follow the link:

Prasad Kulkarni is a Data and Analytics professional. At work, he analyses historical data and ponders over historical events otherwise.

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