Saturday, November 17, 2018
STOP. LOOK. LISTEN
Genius always gives its best at first; prudence, at last."
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Do you have a tendency to leap into situations without weighing them carefully? That can be a good thing if a person is lying on the side of the road, bleeding to death, and in need of immediate
assistance. However, being impulsive can be fatal if in your haste you are run over by oncoming traffic. Control your impulses and respond prudently.
The writer of Proverbs warns against being imprudent. A careful person will not be right in every decision he or she makes, but will not enter into any decision too lightly either. The prudent person understands that everything does not turn out the way it seems it will at first glance. So think your decisions through, especially the ones with wider implications.
President Jimmy Carter was proud to be known as a peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia. I first met him in 1994 and was impressed with how fit and alert he was for a man of his years. He was one of the most diligent and hardworking leaders we have ever had in the White House, but he has not always been known for his prudence. I well remember the high-stakes gamble he wagered in calling together the leaders of Egypt and Israel that resulted in the astounding success of the Camp David Accords.
But President Carter was also responsible for the daring, but failed, rescue attempt of the Iranian hostages in 1980, which resulted in a fiasco for the would-be rescuers. President Carter was not afraid
to take chances but they didn’t always result in success. The wise caution of Proverbs to exercise prudence is not mere peanuts—it could change the way people think about you—so be prudent.
Essential Insight 22: Weigh your decisions carefully. You can smear a lifetime of accomplishment with doubt in a moment of haste.