He was over six-foot tall and weighed around 200 pounds. A sure sign of having been in prison, he had tattoos on the fingers of his hands: on one “HATE” and the other “LOVE,” and, he was madder than a wet hen. Just out of college, I weighed around 165 pounds and I was as stubborn as a mule.
He claimed he was shorted 4 hours on his paycheck. Being quite sure of myself, I was telling him it was impossible; that the payroll clerk’s computations were checked and double-checked and his pay was correct. At the height of the “discussion,” our roofing superintendent pulled me aside and suggested that I could save myself some serious pain by cooling down and making sure I was right. I discovered I was wrong, and he was due an additional 4 hours of pay. I then began to understand the danger in being precipitous.
When designing a publication, good graphic designers leave plenty of “white space.” They know a cluttered page is difficult to read and understand. The same is true of our lives: if always busy, then there is little time for understanding and reflection. We need to have white space in our lives: time when we can deliberate on decisions; time for logic rather than reaction; time to draw upon our experiences, beliefs and knowledge.
There have been other instances when I have been precipitous—heck one time was so bad I can’t talk about it unless I have had a couple of drinks—but, as I grow older, I have found my decision making process to be more deliberative. Something about a 200-pound ex-con with “LOVE” and “HATE” tattooed on his knuckles makes you remember to check and double-check.
“Deliberate with caution, but act with decision; and yield with graciousness or oppose with firmness.”- Charles Caleb Colton