Care Quadruples Complexity


Just doing and saying what you feel is quick and easy. Being careful with people, with money, with decisions, with what we say . . . well, it makes life more complex.

This isn’t going to be one of those "sunshine up your skirt" posts, but it’s a reality. A reality most guys don’t want to face. We just want to get stuff done. We don’t want to think about it . . . we know what we’re doing. “Don’t question us, just get out of the way.” We don’t have the time or patience to think through how it’s going to make her feel, how it sounds to the children, or what the repercussions might be down the road. It’s simple. Damn the torpedoes. Ready-fire-aim. Just do it.

Just doing and saying what you feel is quick and easy. Being careful with people, with money, with decisions, with what we say . . . well, it makes life more complex.


Four reasons . . .

  1. Careful slows us down – Thinking about things and people and the consequences of what you’re about to do takes time.
  2. Careful involves others – When you involve other people in your decisions, you get more information, but it slows you down and creates expectations. Once someone tells you what they think, there’s a bit of an obligation to do what they say or at least tell them why you didn’t follow their advice.
  3. Careful thinks longer term – Slowing down to be careful takes you beyond right now and asks you to think about down the road . . . about longer term consequences. That takes extra effort.
  4. Careful requires humility – Ego says, “I got this.” Careful says, “Whoa, maybe I’ll ask around. Gather input.” It says I don’t know everything about everything.

At my first job with AT&T, every company vehicle had a sign on the dashboard that said something like this . . .

“No task is so important, and no service so urgent that we cannot take time to perform our work safely.” Careful.

One of the monikers of the medical profession – “First do no harm.” Careful.

I once gave end-of-year gifts to a Radical Mentoring group . . . a plaque with one only one word on it: careful.

Think about the father wound you wouldn’t have if your dad had been more careful.

Think about the arguments you and your wife wouldn’t have had if you’d been more careful with your promises.

Think about the money you could still have if you’d been more careful about spending, saving and giving.

Think about the people in your life you’d still be close to if you’d been more careful to forgive, reach out, express gratitude, or show you care.

If God is responsible for all the outcomes in life – if He’s trustworthy – if He’s got our backs, then why in the world can’t we take time to live a little more carefully?

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