“Fools rush in where wise men never go.” ~ from Elvis Presley’s song “Fools Rush In”

Last week’s character trait was boldness or speaking up and doing what needs to be done. This week is all about knowing when to shut up and stay put.

Cautiousness is knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions. Even the best of intentions can make a mess of things. But taking a moment to gather information and assess the situation allows me to proceed carefully and increases my chances for success.

I have writer friends headed to a conference in the next few weeks to pitch their ideas to editors and agents. But timing is everything. Horror stories abound of cornering someone during their only break or even sliding a proposal under the bathroom stall door. It doesn’t take a genius to see whose book won’t be published!

The same is true in marriage. If I think we need a new clothes dryer, the best time to bring up the subject is not when my husband’s football team had to forfeit a game and he’s feeling overwhelmed. If he needs a sounding board to air his frustrations, the best time to talk is not after I’ve just spent three hours with our complaint-spouting special needs daughter.

“A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3 NKJV) Hmm. Kinda like what today’s opening quote said (just without the catchy tune).

Here’s to taking a moment to think before I speak.

What about you? Have you ever rushed into a situation without thinking? Did it turn out well?

Character Matters – Cautiousness
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