Monday, February 27, 2012

Nothing Really Matters Until it Matters

One of the things that is frustrating to me is to warn someone about an issue that appears to be developing and for them to ignore it because they don't see the potential impact.  In some ways it is part of the same phenomenon as the "unintended consequences" that sometimes append to good intentions.

There are many times the words "it won't matter" have been used for things that ultimately do matter.  It is symptomatic of those who tend to focus on the present and don't think about much beyond tomorrow.  The trouble is, almost everything we do today affects in some manner what happens in the future.  Sometimes the impact is a long way off and that is when it is most frequently ignored.

When those things do impact at a later date, it becomes a "disaster" to the person you warned in the first place.  They often think the sky is falling and the end has come.  "How could this happen?" is frequently the response.

It is tempting to say, "I told you so," but it is never productive.  First, they deny that you told them.  Or, if they admit you told them they blame you for not warning them in strong enough terms.  Second, it doesn't help to fix the problem.

Some people learn from their mistakes while others merely repeat them over and over again.  They may not be exactly the same, but are close enough the lessons of the past should have been clear. 

With some people it just doesn't do much good to warn them of the consequence of their actions.  To them it doesn't really matter until it matters.


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