Home iClass Chicken-or-egg


By Dr Abdulfattah Adeyemi

The “chicken-or-egg” debate refers to the paradoxical situations that involve two factors, each of which in turn causes or leads to the other. If the egg came first, then it came from a chicken, if the chicken came first, it came from the egg, and so forth. Likewise, how do one work out which came first: the tools or the machine? Did the grass seed come before the blade of grass? Did the bird, the lizard or the spider come before the egg? How about the orange tree and the seeds: which came first?

Similarly, in everyday life, people would say, “You need relevant experience to get a good job, or you need a good job to get relevant experience.” If all companies keep saying that, where then would you get the so called experiences from? People would say you need money to do business, others would say you need business to have money. Business or money which should come first? It is also said that you need good collateral to get a loan, and you need to get loans to have worthwhile collateral. We all know which the banks would put first, but could it be arranged in any other order?

Furthermore, do you need patronage of customers to help you develop a better product, or you need a better product to get patronage of customers? Again, some talented artists, performers, entertainers, actors, and so on, think they need a sponsor to be successful in their professions, but they also need to be successful to get a sponsor. Having higher education can lead to securing good job, and with good job, you can afford higher education. Where does the circle begin or end?

At the family level, does a husband need to care for his wife so she can respect him; or a wife needs to respect her husband so he can care for her? A woman once said, “I no longer express love feelings for my husband because he complains about me a lot.” Could it be that her husband complains about her a lot because she no longer expresses love feelings for him? Do couples quarrel a lot because they don’t communicate, or they don’t communicate because they quarrel a lot?

The real question therefore, is: in your own particular situation, which is the chicken, which is the egg, and which comes first? And the real answer is: it doesn’t matter whether you begin with the egg or the chicken. What should come first is for you to start a good life from where you are, with what you have, and in the best way you can.


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