One of the most common themes that run across time is that whatever you are doing, check your work. Verify, Verify, Verify.
Did I forget? Verify.
Recently, my mother had car troubles. She thought her car had serious issues, and drove back home with emergency lights on. When my dad, who is no expert with cars, but decent enough to do oil changes, swap out tires, and replace batteries took a look at it. One of the tires was flat.
Dad pretty much exploded and berated mom for not checking the tires over a span of a few days. He said that this is the basic of basics of car maintenance. His argument rested on the fact that this is literally a 5 minute check, and driving with a flat tire is extremely risky.
My mom was extremely stressed about this, and said that it wasn’t right for my dad to be so angry at her.
Hearing this, I really don’t what to say. Maybe it isn’t right for dad to be angry. Maybe he should have kindly warned my mom about this and not made a huge deal out of it.
At the same time, I understand my dad’s point of view. If you let something so important go without a fuss, people won’t remember it. Sometimes, you need to express anger and frustration when something is mission critical.
For example, I think that if your kid shoplifted something and you found out, you should be furious. Otherwise, the kid would take the misbehavior lightly. However, I really don’t think the same type of fury is justified if, say, the kid ate an extra piece of M&M…
So there are times when you should unleash all the rage and fury, and there are times where it’s not proper. This is what wisdom is. The ability to pick the optimal choice and apply that knowledge is, without a doubt, the most valuable skill at a human being can possess.
But I digress.
The point is, a 1 minute check could have prevented all this trouble of driving back home with a flat tire.
Similarly, last week at work, I asked a coworker if the files on his local directory was pushed, and asked if the same files were the same across multiple computing environments. He said they were.
Five hours later, I found out that they weren’t. I was a little frustrated, but I wondered if was partially my fault as well. Rather than asking him, maybe I should have verified it myself - it should have taken no more than 5 minutes.
I feel that this a common thread across my life, and maybe others. That 5 second check to make sure if you have your phone. One look at the fire stove before you leave the house. The little checks and verifications can really prevent a major catastrophe…