Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pyrrhic

Yet another reminder that being fluent in a language does not mean you know every word there is...as I learned one in Spanish and then English.
I was reading a brief article on the minimum wage negotiations here in Honduras (they do this every year, or are supposed to do so...that is an entirely different conversation) and the representative for labor was talking about how the current minimum wage is not being met by 64% of businesses (not sure where he found that statistic), mostly included in that being micro-enterprise. His point was that the current wage must be enforced by the government...otherwise negotiating an increase on the minimum wage would really be pyrrhic (pírrico) as that percentage would likely increase.

That was a new one to me in both languages. You can somewhat gather the meaning...something costing to the point of negating or outweighing the perceived benefit.

Origin...Pyrrhus, king of Epirus who sustained heavy losses defeating the Romans. Upon being congratulated for a victory in the Battle of Asculum he reportedly said “One more such victory will undo me!” He lost many of his officers, friends, luggage, recruiters, etc.

It occurs to me that sometimes I so heavily focus on the tasks of the day, that I miss life in general, losing the little joys, talks with the kids, health, and peace. Over time, that seems to be like a pyrrhic victory, and something to contemplate for sure.




No comments: