antonia williams-gary.pngI’ve been thinking lately.  My dad used to tell me that was a dangerous thing for me to do.  (He would tease me about all my “book learning” (thanks in large part to where he and my mom chose for me to receive my formal education).  He also said that I lacked enough “common sense.”

I pondered that for years — and still it haunts me that I continue to miss the mark about how the world outside my ordered thought process really works.

For instance, it disturbs me that the established and acceptable end result of formal education in this country (BA, MA, PhD, etc.) gets you a nice suitable-for-framing piece of paper, a satisfied feeling of achievement, maybe some praise and recognition — but baseball players make millions of dollars to hit, catch and run.

Where is the justice?  What is the rationale?  Who establishes how to value tangible/intangible outcomes?  How does it compute?  Is there a formula to measure the market value of intellect, formal study, effort, application and contribution to societal advancements, and so on?
I’ve been thinking lately.

I know a little about how commercial value of goods and services is based on supply/demand economic theories, blah, and blah, blah.  But, really, people!  Have you seriously thought about this?

The movie Social Network, the popular, award winning examination of the so-called theft of intellectual property and the exchange of  billions of dollars after the creation of Facebook, is one example of how this imbalance of value is real.

Is there a fair way to compensate anything anymore?   Just the other day, I heard someone declare that it takes the same amount of effort to sell a small, inexpensive property as it does for a large, multi-million-dollar property.

So where is the incentive to sell the small house, if it takes the same effort to sell a big one?  I know. Someone’s got to do the small stuff: pick up the public’s garbage, teach the children, tend to the sick and dying, house the poor, care for the elderly……

There I go.  Dangerously, thinking again.

But, I have been thinking lately.  I have already spent my lifetime following the traditional route – schools, degrees, a sum of knowledge, titles, positions, negotiated market determined compensation for particular jobs, etc.  But, if asked, what would I tell my grandchildren?

Common sense tells me that they will find their way.  I only hope that they will, with enough “book learning,” play an active role in the evolving revolution to put things in right order, to reap their just rewards in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness – the constitutional promise – and to hit home runs.

I can only hope.

Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at