“Can’t we do it just this once President?”
Small choices, big consequences!
The question reminded me of this piece from a long time ago by Richard L. Evans.
“There is in our language a dangerously disarming phrase by which people often persuade other people to compromise principles.
It is the phrase “𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐞.”
“Just this once” has a siren-like lure.
It is the forerunner of the phrase “Just once more.”
It is the beckoning voice of a false friend that leads us from safety to a false position, first “Just this once,” and then “Just once more.”
“Just once more won’t matter.”
“Just once more, and then I’ll quit.”
And so, we sometimes move from one false step to another, often deluding ourselves into thinking that this is the last time.
In some social and personal matters, many of us live somewhat this way.
We may know, for example, that we are living our lives at a pace we cannot keep up, but we hate to refuse a friend. Thus, we are led from obligation to obligation, and each time we say “yes,” we tell ourselves that we are saying it “Just this once” and that tomorrow will be better.
But tomorrow is seldom better except as we have the backbone to make it better.
In matters of eating and appetite, people often go from one indulgence to another, always saying to themselves, “Just this once, Tomorrow I begin to diet.” “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.”
“Just this once” becomes especially serious when people persuade other people that a principle is a matter of frequency rather than a clear-cut matter of right or wrong.
It is true that a onetime offender is looked upon with more leniency than a frequent offender. But stealing “Just this once,” lying “Just this once,” deceiving “Just this once,” or any other act of immorality urged upon anyone “Just this once” is a dangerous doctrine.
“Just this once” is a long step, but “Just once more” is an easier step, and so men often forget their own fetters from link to link.
If it isn’t right, let it alone. Don’t do “Just this once” what shouldn’t be done at all.”
Listen out for the phrase in your own life – you may be surprised how often it occurs.
Consider your actions carefully, and the consequences that may occur.
How will you respond next time?
𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐨𝐟𝐟 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐚 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞?
“Will I answer that?” I thought.
It had been an extremely busy day. Our schedule was packed full. On arriving home around 3.30pm yesterday, I said to Monic that I was going for a walk to get some fresh air, stretch my legs and generally chill for half an hour. I asked if she wanted to come, but she needed to attend to some other things.
So, off I strode, along to the canal side to enjoy a pleasant stroll and clear my thoughts.
Pausing along the way to enjoy the nature and the windmill, I pulled out my phone to take a picture.
And there it was, the phone was silently ringing, some young missionaries were trying to get a hold of me. And then came the thought above!
What is it about a ringing phone that compels us to answer it?
I was so enjoying my little walk!
Interruptions! How do you deal with them?
So, I chose to answer the call.
“Do you have a minute?” asked the young missionary, “I just have one quick question. I can call you back if it is not a good time?”
Smiling, “on you go” I said.
We spoke for 10 minutes and resolved the immediate matter at hand. We talked, shared, asked questions, problem solved and above all I listened.
How many times a day do you hear those fateful words?
Frequently, one-minute turns into 10, one question becomes several, and you can end up losing big chunks of your day. Balancing the need to be accessible and productive is a challenge that we all face at times.
All that said, I enjoyed our conversation. We resolved a few things together and followed up later with an email to address the main concern.
Interruptions happen, so it’s how you deal with them that matters. Over the years I have learned to expect them!
Each of us oftentimes face many random factors in our day. They will control you unless you control them. It’s your choice. And yesterday I chose to take the call, and I am glad I did!
My advice, if you do need to interrupt someone, give them the option of turning you down without appearing rude. For instance, instead of “I just have one quick question,” ask “Is now a good time to talk?”
On this chilly snow filled February morning, my thoughts turned to a memory from a few years ago. This is one of my favourite pictures of my son Kyle and I, just south of Provo, Utah on the western edges of the Rocky Mountains, in the Wasatch Front, April 2013. Waking up today, to our best snowfall of the year in Scotland, having a couple of these snowmobiles would have been really handy!
I recall those couple of days in Utah, in the middle of nowhere. Those snowmobiles were fast! Reaching speeds of up to 70 mph on snow filled meadows that seemed to go on forever, was great fun, exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time for the pair of us.
With today’s weather, it is very likely that I won’t get very far at all. Unlike those snowmobiles, equipped for the most challenging of winter weather, my ability to travel anywhere at speed today is likely to be limited to trudging through the snow on foot at best.
Like many of the storms we pass through in life, I have found that the direction we choose whilst travelling through them, is more important than any speed we attain.
Slow down and stay safe, wherever you are today.
What “𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭” will you play today?
Every day – I make commitments to myself, my family members, my friends, my work clients and to voluntary opportunities that I love to serve in.
For example, yesterday I had a key “𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭” to play as the facilitator in a global virtual workshop, with 129 participants. I turned up at 6.00am (GMT), ready to guide each participant through the experience. Shortly afterwards my heart leapt when I received this lovely comment – “I must say today’s session was one of the best ever with such a spontaneous audience and so many volunteers! Thank you as always for making it so engaging and delivering it with such high energy!”
I loved playing my “𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭” in the whole experience.
Yesterday, I was also thrilled to play my 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 as a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a coach, a friend, a servant and a leader.
Wherever you are, whatever you choose to do with your life, may I invite you to consider this phrase quoted so frequently by David O. McKay – “What e’er thou art, act well thy 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭”.
Acting your part well simply means that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you choose to do it to the best of your ability and to be as useful as you possibly can.
How will you choose to play your “𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭” today?