Thirty-Four years ago Fraggle Rock debuted on TV. This masterpiece of the late Jim Henson featured a number of races including, but not limited to the Fraggles (that the show was named after) and the Doozers (that were critical to their survival).
The Fraggles (mainly Gobo, Mokey, Webley, Boober, and Red) are small anthropomorphic creatures, typically 18 inches tall with fur-tuft tipped tales, that generally live a carefree life playing, exploring, and enjoying themselves. With their 30 minute work-week, they enjoy their bohemian life-style to the max and are generally worry free as they can subsist mainly on radishes (which grow plentiful) and Doozer sticks (that the Doozers use to build their constructions).
The Doozers are pudgy, green ant-like creatures that stand about 4 inches tall and that live an industrious lifestyle dedicated to work and progress. They spend their days (and the waking part of their nights) busily constructing all shapes and sizes of scaffolds and buildings throughout Fraggle Rock from their Doozer sticks, which are made from processed radishes (and taste like candy to Fraggles).
This gives the Doozers a steady stream of work as the Fraggles love Doozer sticks and tend to eat the constructions on a daily basis, given the Doozers constant space to rebuild.
This is generally the only interaction between the two species, and in Fraggle Rock it makes both groups happy as Doozers like their work to be enjoyed and Fraggles love enjoying the work (by eating it). But this only works because there is a delicate balance between the two races.
Consider what would happen if there were not enough Fraggles relative to the Doozer population. The Doozers would build and build until they ran out of space. Then they would be unhappy as they could not build any more. They would eventually go into a bleak depression, as they need to build creatively to be happy, and some might even become suicidal. Either way, it would be devastating to the Doozer population.
Now consider what would happen if there were too many Fraggles. They’d eat the Doozer’s constructions faster than those poor little Doozer’s could build. The Doozers, who would initially be pleased at the standing ovation, would build harder and faster until they literally collapsed. Then, without the food supply they are used to, the Fraggles, who’d have to resort to a single food source (ground-up radishes), would become very unhappy as this would not only be boring, but they’d have to work a lot more making the food (which would substantially cut into their bohemian lifestyle).
Lesson? Don’t forget to take culture into account in your relationships. If the partner you intend to select has a substantially different, almost opposite, culture, even though opposites attract, if the relationship isn’t delicately balanced, at least one side will wither away. Keep this in mind as you start thinking about that new IT partner (which is on your mind after our three-part series this week that asked should I stay or should I go?)