LifeRevelation

Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

Virtue #11–Caution

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The author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables, Victor Hugo once  stated“Caution is the eldest child of wisdom.” If we consider Caution to be a warning against danger or evil, then Hugo’s statement takes on considerable importance. Caution begins to shoulder something more than “street smarts” or “gut feeling.” It assumes the pretext of practical consideration. It casts off the charade of  impulse and whim, assuming increased weight and contemplation.

It seems in today’s fast paced, frenetic, time is money mode of operation that Caution would appear quaint, like the wearing of a pocket watch for men or a Victorian lace collared blouse for women. It might be practical, but it isn’t something cutting edge metropolitans would ever be caught dead doing. Business is all about moving forward. If you aren’t growing, you are dying. Speed is of the essence. Caution has been left in the dust.

Maybe when considering love Caution tends to be thought of as more relevant. Rarely do we hear the call for a relationship to move faster. It is here Caution is thought to be…well almost a virtue. “Go slow.” “Give this some time.”, we are encouraged. Suddenly Caution is our friend. It will protect us from rash and hasty actions, which we might learn to regret in the future.

Caution’s value skyrockets when we have children. Every child hears, “Slow down there.” and is asked “What is the big hurry?” When we kiss them good night, pull the covers up around their little faces, and creep toward the door, the prayer on every parents heart is, “Please God, let them grow up slowly.”  Caution is our watch word when we take them to the park, or to the mall, or to school, or on a date, or watch them play sports.

As I look around our world I wish we would exercise more caution. Caution: in how we operate our vehicles on the interstates, how we enter into romantic relationships, how we think, how we talk to our spouses, how we interact with our neighbors, how we conduct our business, how we choose our beliefs, how we rule our nation, how we decide to use our military, how we live our lives.

I understand too much caution and we become immobile. We can’t reach a decision. We become the proverbial deer in the headlights. We need to swing through the trees, holding on to the branches, and howling loudly, but let’s make sure we don’t turn loose of one branch until we have a firm grip on the next.

Be encouraged!

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10 thoughts on “Virtue #11–Caution

  1. David on said:

    A lovely sentiment beautifully expressed.

  2. Dave on said:

    Even knee-jerk reactions are acts of caution……The question being, how much caution? Our minds take fractions of time to decide a response. Sometimes reckless caution, sometimes not. Caution, none the less.

    Simultaneous action-reaction might be the only time there is no caution, what-so-ever?

  3. Hey Stephen
    As I agree with you, we should also not be overly cautious and let caution turn into fear and hold us back from achieving our goals.

    • Excellent point Jim…there is balance in everything…when the balance gets out of whack, things tend to go awry quickly.

      Thanks for commenting…good to hear from you…hope all is well.

      Be encouraged!

  4. You did a terrific job with this, Stephen. Thoughtfully done. I think you are talking about caution as in acting with thoughtfulness as opposed to acting impulsively or without thinking. Good advice. Happy Canada Day!

  5. livvy1234 on said:

    It is multi dimensional and multi-layered. Good points to ponder.

    • Thank you…I have enjoyed writing about virtues (except the one on Chastity…whew that was a mess). I have especially enjoyed the comments I have received both on the blog and in my private email. I can assure you not everyone sees virtue the same way. I tend to believe the word means what it means, but I have seen some great social engineering to get the words to mean something entirely different…which is kind of why I started writing about virtues in the first place…no one could agree on what were virtues and then no one could agree on what they mean…a far cry from just 50 years ago.

      Be encouraged!

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