A thing is not necessarily true because badly uttered, nor false because spoken magnificently. – Saint Augustine
What does that mean?
Think about that, about how those who lie easily and smoothly use their ability to speak to deceive us. They have spoken magnificently, yet they have spoken falsely. However, that is one of our natural responses to a smooth talker, to presume that what they speak is false. But that’s not always the case, according to the quote. Sometimes the truth is spoken smoothly as well.
The quote also mentions the badly uttered words, and how their truth shouldn’t simply be assumed. The quote reminds us to actually examine what has been spoken, the facts, and not just pay attention to the method of their delivery. In short, it says that our ears can deceive us, and implies we should pay closer attention to the content, not just the delivery.
Why is caution important?
There are those who take advantage the way we have trained ourselves to spot liars. Most liars try to convince us that they are truthful by skillfully stating their lies. We are used to young children and unskilled adults lying by speaking haltingly and not making eye contact and a million other little things that add together to state to us “I am lying.”
However, there are those who have learned this lesson and have practiced to the point where they can look us in the eye and lie with a smile on their face. However, most of us have been burned by this style of liar and are cautious around someone we think might be a “smooth talker,” or “silver tongued devil.” This quote cautions us against over using this reaction, as the truth can also be spoken in this manner.
Where can I apply this in my life?
In this post, I want neither to talk about becoming a good liar, nor an ace detective specializing in the spotting of liars. Instead, I’d like to focus on how to use caution in our daily lives. So how does one use caution in one’s daily life?
With caution, like so much of life, you can have too much as well as too little. Somewhere between lies the ‘happy path’ we all want to walk on. Where that path is, depends on our tolerance of risk and our ability to handle uncertainty, and these factors are different for each of us.
If someone has too much caution, will they ever get anything done, or will they be constantly worrying, or coming up with alternate plans (labeled a thru z, and then a few more, just in case), never getting anything actually accomplished?
If someone has too little caution, will they ever actually accomplish their desired goal, or will their life look like a demolition derby (a car racing event where the object is to destroy everyone elses’ car without destroying your own)? They will likely rush from here to there, not making much progress but leaving a trail of wrecks in their wake.
This quest for the perfect balance is complicated by personal nature and personal experience. Someone who is looking to invest their money in the market is going to have a certain level of caution to begin with. If they’re a naturally cautious person, they’ll have even more. If they were ever burned by a fraudulent investor, or read a lot about Bernie Madoff and the scam he ran, they might be even more cautious.
So how does one find their way between the twin pillars of recklessness and paranoia? I would start by examining my past performance. Grab some paper and write down the last five times you used too little caution, and the last five times you used too much caution.
As each circumstance is different, and the consequences different as well, I would also note next to each event a number (pick your own scale) relating the severity of the consequence of your failure. Also note when the event took place (how long ago).
Is there a pattern? Do you have a couple with too little, then a couple with too much? Do you bounce between them alternatively? Also look to see if there is a pattern with the severity factor you assigned. Do you tend to be overly cautious with the big things and less so with the little things?
Finally, what is your tolerance to risk, and is there a pattern in that aspect of the events? Do you tend to be over cautious in affairs of the heart or in all things financial? These two are common places for over caution to appear, as are other issues involving strong emotions.
Logic won’t always be enough, and sometimes hunches and feelings have value in the decision making process. Consider the risk, and the reward and make a decision you can be comfortable with. Monitor your progress, notice the feedback and improve your decision making process.
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/saintaugus148562.html
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