“...the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt.” From The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman.

This is why the more affluent our society becomes, the more we spend effort and resources to assuage our increasing fears and insecurities. The safer and more affluent we become, the more we seem to get caught up by petty superstitions and fears - ”chemicals”, vaccines, and the “others” are pervasive examples.

Just as work expands to fill the available time, our fears and insecurities expand to fill the space created by our affluence. Space that was occupied by more survival concerns. Doesn't this strike you as a terrible waste of opportunity? Opportunity that we have worked so hard to earn.

When businesses grow to a certain size, they become more comfortable and affluent. They also have time to look at what they have gained, and thus what they could potentially lose. The more they try to avoid this fear of loss, this suffering, the more they get caught up the “due processes” of protection. They turn more conservative and risk-averse.

Is it surprising then that we see companies increasingly becoming caught up in petty processes and systemic red tape as they grow and mature?