Reductive Impact

Steve Douglas
3 min readFeb 29, 2024
Photo by Nathan Dumlao

One must be conscious in all ways not to create reductive impacts in the body, mind, and/or spirit.

It is crucial for everyone, particularly children, to connect with their inner selves and explore the unique questions that pertain to their personal directions in life rather than getting overly engaged in conventional worries like money, change, and unhelpful interests.

Of course, money isn’t all, but it’s most of it, so it’s completely understandable why most individuals and families pay such close attention to it. That doesn’t mean, however, that it should dictate self-beliefs and values or be compared to that of other families.

What it can and should do is provide context and contrast, enabling families to establish a process to function effectively during challenging times. These times affect everyone, even when people seem to be doing well behind closed doors.

No one, regardless of their background, is immune to financial fluctuations. Whether it’s a close friend of mine from the past who came from a wealthy family and received a monthly allowance larger than what most people earn in a year, or friends of mine in Jamaica who only owned one school uniform and had to wash it every day of the week, it’s all about managing one’s circumstances and mentality.

The person who used to receive an allowance from their family always faced financial stress on some level because of their spending habits. On the other hand, my friend from Jamaica was always content with what they had, and even on tough days, they managed to stay positive by consciously choosing what they focused on. It is fair to ask the question in these two scenarios: who is more wealthy?

This experience taught me a valuable lesson: no matter what one has, anything can be a problem without proper management and self-awareness, which brings me to change. Change is happening to me as I write this, and it’s happening to you as you read it. It’s not something we can control or are even aware of most of the time, but it is constant.

My mother and I believe constant values remain what they are, while the only constant in variable values is that they vary.

Certain programming languages distinguish between constant and variable symbols through explicit syntax. In some programming languages, assignment to a constant is considered a syntax error, while in others, it is treated as syntactically correct but semantically invalid. Being syntactically correct means that it is written in a structure that is accepted by the program. Being semantically invalid occurs when the meaning or logic is wrong, even if it’s written without syntactical errors. Assigning a constant value to an identifier may be syntactically valid, but if the identifier is variable, it violates the semantics of the program.

When anything in life is deemed semantically invalid, it directly translates to accruing unhelpful interest, first in the mind and then physically and even outwardly in the long term.

Without awareness of these concepts, one can make a reductive impact, even with things that begin as a positive impact. Failing to account for the constant and variable variables that are unique to an individual’s life can make any circumstance — positive, neutral or negative — into a challenge for that individual and those they interact with.

Those making a reductive impact and justifying it didn’t start that way as children. As children, we all have something we enjoy. If one can find a way to create that outlet to be shared with others, we can reduce the chances of having a reductive impact on ourselves or the larger community and day-to-day operations of being human.

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Steve Douglas

Steve is a Canadian polymath whose pro music career officially began at age 4 when he performed live @ Wembley Stadium. His focus = tangibly benefiting youth.