On subsidy

I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s What The Dog Saw and Other Adventures and a chapter in it called “Late Bloomers: Why do we equate genius with precocity?” made a great point – for great art, you need patrons. Renaissance wouldn’t have happened without patronage or subsidy.

Now, I believe that for all good things to happen, there has to be some kind of a subsidy.

Your parents, your spouse, your siblings, your in-laws, your mentors, investors, employees etc. – all subsidise your efforts. Subsidy can be in the form of money, encouragement, trust, faith etc.

It is a subsidy even if it benefits them in some way or they give it reluctantly or for lack of choice.

When I was in college, I used to think that I would never take money from my parents after I graduate. It was the principle of it – to stand on your own two feet without help or subsidy from anyone (also, such subsidy is meant for the rich spoiled kids and not for middle class folks like me).

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that if you want to do anything out of the ordinary, you must understand the nature of this subsidy and why it is good for you and why you should be grateful that it exists.

It would have been easier to keep saving money in a fancy job thinking that one day I would quit when I have “enough money” to do it totally on my own. But it would have been a mistake.


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