In accounting, a mistake, no matter how big, does not count once the price has been paid. The future decisions are irrelevant of historical transactions. To accept this idea I had to change my core philosophy in life. Previous mistakes, or any past transactions should not effect our future decisions certainly was an eye-opening concept not easily digestible. During my college years I had read many philosophical ideas and concepts yet the viewpoint that I have taken with me since then is from my accounting class. Imagine an ideology of economics that its nucleus exists in any humanitarian beliefs. The proper word that translates the accounting concept of “Sunk Cost” into the human life experience is forgiveness!
Generally in any decisions that most people make, the past plays a fundamental role. In most cases any preconceived ranking of people or races are based on the historical situations that are irrelevant in the present reality. Historical situations are sunk costs and should be put to rest. This simple idea was the heart of “Sohrab Sepehri” poetry; to look at life with fresh eyes, to wash the eyes. Of course my uncle would have smacked me silly knowing his favorite modern poet was talking about an accounting concept of sunk cost! “How unromantic and degrading” he would have thought, nevertheless very true.
Perhaps this “historical situation” refers to “backward traditions”, specifically the ones that degrade our population, be it women, homosexuals, or liberals etc. Yet we normally don’t change. People don’t like change. Changes generally fail because it is designed top-down to be implemented bottom-up, or minority attempt to convince the majority that change is needed. In no possible way anyone should think any of this is related to any governments or regimes. Society based on economic class system or intellectuals are at target here.
Let’s translate the accounting principle of sunk cost to our Iranian heritage and history. Our decisions for tomorrow should not concern the actions of the past. This idea allows change processes to take place without religious leadership. More importantly, our social investments that form certain values, which have held us back, must not be defended because of status quo. We should forgive the past for what they did not know and move forward.