Monday, January 31, 2011


     We are all likely to know someone whose modus operandi is to cut corners.  Undoubtedly, as children, we sought ways to cut corners for tasks required of us – only to “do over” the task correctly until it met the approval of a parent or teacher.  Over time, as we grew into adulthood, we developed wisdom to know it is better to do things right the first time; to take the necessary time, put out the necessary effort and excellence to make a project correct the first time. 

     Invariably, when you cut corners it costs you somewhere along the line.  How many times have I regretted trying to carry too many packages from my car, only to have breakage, ruining something, or tripping?  Many times, I have caught myself mumbling that I should have known better, while it takes me twice as long to clean up the mess.  If I had only made two or three trips into the house!  Lessons in Life have taught us and we sometimes try to sneak by, knowing all the while that saving time tends to cost time, money, and pain in the long run.

     The day after the big snowstorm I watched a neighbor who never shovels the common passageway in the back of our homes, regardless of how it impedes passage for everyone.  Each neighbor is responsible for clearing the way so that cars can get through to park and move.  Every neighbor on my strip and along the right side strip had their through-way cleared as they usually do, early in the morning.  He, however, started to move his box truck out from his snow covered parking pad and through-way.  He immediately got stuck and spent about 15 minutes spinning wheels and rocking before his children came out and his neighbor.  They pushed and pushed.  His wheels spun and spun.  Then he shoveled under the wheels and the truck inched ahead only to be stopped again.  He never figured out that it was easier to just shovel the entire space neatly and fully so that he could complete his turn and go straight.  I watched fearfully as the little boy wedged himself between the truck and the corner of the fence, and I prayed that the father would see him and not try to rock the vehicle.  I watched as the man later banged the truck into the corner of his fence and he still persisted.  This went on for over one and one-half hours!  He finally got free.  The kids climbed in the truck and off they went.  Immediately, a car coming in got stuck in front of his butchered through-way.  The woman got out, walked around her vehicle and began to telephone for help. 

     My next worry – that man never cleared any of the deep snow from the roof of the truck – which is law for a reason.

     Cutting corners…is it worth it?  What does it cost?  Who pays?

© Dr. Drayton-Craig, 2011


  1. What a great story and lesson too. Ever notice how when you are in a hurry things take even longer than when you just take a deep breath, relax and do it slowly. Thanks, and I already do have the book and highly recommend it!

  2. Oh my, I do recall the wash board and later hanging the clothes on the line which you talk about in your newsletter that contains this blog. Unlike you, I grew up in south Philadelphia and each Saturday we would wash the marble steps and sweep the sidewalk. We were poor, however, my mother taught us to have pride and dignity in what little we possessed. This guy above has no pride or care about others. He does not go about his life with excellence.
    ~ Suzanne Fields, Esq.

  3. I love the seque of memories of the important values that people had in the Brooklyn neighborhood and the absolutely insane behavior of the next door neighbor.

    Reading between the lines of this story, I see why some of our children today can never stay focused or concentrate on getting things done and seeing the accomplishments of tasks well done. This is learned behavior from the parent when the children see this and don't know any better. The article definitely gives you food for thought. Everyone is in a hurry. Constantly multi-tasking and not giving it your best. Multi-tasking gives way to "cutting corners".