Growing up, my immediate elder brother and I had an interest in discovering shortcuts to places. We would find short cuts to the nearest bus stop, to the market, to school, church and any other place we visit on a daily basis. We got so good at it we became experts for directions in the family – especially when we move to new vicinity.
“What’s the point in spending 20 minutes to arrive at a destination when one can spend 5?” my brother would ask whenever we set out on our usual adventure. I would nod my head in agreement, anticipating with glee our impending geographical conquest. We loved it.
Our mom hated it. She prefers to traverse the established routes. In her opinion, short cuts are fast lanes. They are for reckless and careless people. “There’s a reason why those routes are not the usual ones.” She would say whenever she overhears us informing our siblings of shorter routes to the same place.
We didn’t understand it. “Why would anyone refuse a faster means of doing things?” Unlike her children, our mother preferred the old and established to the new ways. Something about the devil you know and so on. We found her stance frustrating. She tagged our angst “youthful exuberance.”
Sometimes, we are able to convince her to take our precious shortcuts but that was after we’ve shown her they were as short (and safe and better etc) as we claimed. In addition, we had to prove our claims when going out by taking our shortcuts while she took the usual route – whoever arrives at the designated point wins the argument. And we did. Sometimes.
In retrospect, I realised she was right to make us prove our claims. After all, what if we were wrong? What if the so-called shortcuts involved trespassing on another person’s property (which happened on a few occasions)? What if they were dangerous? Her antagonism made us work harder to prove her wrong. I daresay the experience has made me careful when taking decisions – geographical or otherwise. So, thanks mum.
In life, we will face situations that require us to either take shortcuts or go through the long haul. Shortcuts implies the simple, faster or better in this context while the long haul implies planning and preparation which is time-consuming.
Before we decide which road to take, I daresay we must be equipped with relevant information to arrive at a better decision. Taking a shortcut is not wise if the outcome breeds a lack of integrity, mediocrity or nonchalance.Taking a shortcut is not wise if the outcome breeds a lack of integrity, mediocrity or nonchalance. Click To Tweet
For example, you can choose to go through the long haul of preparing and planning for an exam, essay or task rather than cheating, plagiarizing or turning in a bad work. Even if you don’t get caught, you have deprived yourself the thrill of solving a problem with your God-given brain. Sometimes, it’s not only the outcome that counts but the character built during the process.Sometimes, it's not only the outcome that counts but the character built during the process. Click To Tweet
On the other hand, where a shortcut has been tried and tested, like the alternative routes I and my brother worked so hard to find, then it’s safe to follow suit.
In the world of programming/technology, for example, time is of the essence, therefore, proven and viable shortcuts are highly welcome. In fact, researches are carried out to find better ways (faster or slower) of handling problems.
Is taking shortcuts good or bad for you? It all depends on the shortcut. Like in making any quality decision, be well informed about the decision, the promises and threats it poses, then you will be able to decide.
Do you agree with the above? Please comment below. Thanks.