Cutting Corners

Friday, June 10                                

Elizabeth and I were privileged to be in Fort Collins, CO for two of our grandchildren’s graduation ceremonies.  Kevin graduated with a civil engineering degree from Colorado State University.  I was impressed with the commencement address by Mr. Simon Prakash.  He graduated from Colorado State in civil engineering, and has held prestigious jobs with both Apple and Google.  He was modest, down to earth, and gave excellent advice to the graduating class.  One of his points was “Do simple things perfectly.  That will lead to doing difficult things more easily.”  I couldn’t get all he said for a variety of reasons, but I latched onto that statement.  Too many of us tend to gloss over the simpler things of life, things like mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, or studying geometry.  We are prone to do simple, mundane jobs quickly so we can do something more important or more enjoyable.  We become very good at cutting corners—and it soon becomes habitual, a normal way of life.  Then when we turn to the more difficult things, we approach them with the same mind set.  We settle for mediocrity.  Results?  Unfulfilled dreams, wasted talent, school drop outs, failed marriages, pink slips, street people, more people on welfare, and even suicides.  And the offspring of these losers tend to be losers, too.  There’s probably a little hyperbole here, but the pattern is undoubtedly a major factor in personal failures.  Success in life, whether in secular things or spiritual things, will be measured by how well we attack the little tasks.  Mr. Prakash exposed a major problem and how to deal with it.  I wonder how many of the graduates got the message.  For all of us, a word of encouragement: it’s never too late to change.

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