Friday, 27 July 2012

I was wrong

Tucked away on a bookshelf above our family dinner table is an old blue book. Complete with water-stains, broken binding and dog-eared pages falling out, it's one of the most used books in my home. And whenever there's a conflict or point of discussion, it's nearly always my first point of reference - and not just for Scrabble or solving the crossword.

Maybe it's just a reflection of me that sometimes a family member will use a word, and one of the others will challenge them on its usage. Or there's a discussion on the correct pronunciation for a word. My response is always the same: When in doubt, "Quit the argument and check the dictionary!"

And just between you and me, I always hope it will prove me right, though sometimes of course the kids will win and I'll have learnt something new....

I use the same approach in other areas of life. When the gizmo stops working, what does the manual say? And sure, my favoured approach to the computer is to click on everything to see what happens, but I'm also trying to learn to save myself both time and stress by going to Help in the first instance.

When planning my compost, I consulted Google. When in another city, I'm a man, so I use a map (and yes, Techies, I'll probably get a GPS one day...) When knocking down walls in my house, I employed an engineer. And when I'm in doubt on a course of action or I'm in a relational difficulty, I check the Bible. It's not rocket science, it's a manual for life!

And, just like the road code, it's mostly unrestrictive: A set of rules to stop others hurting me or getting in my way, a few notes on the exceptions, and some warnings on the consequences - once I get that sorted I'm free to make my own choices and go wherever I want!

Freedom, within the rules, without being detrimental to others....

Within the rules....

I recently followed a friend's car through a series of roundabouts, and when we got to our destination, our conversation went something like this:
"Hey, you're not supposed to indicate right if you're going straight through a roundabout."
          "Why, that's what I've been told to do!"
"Well, you've been told wrong. You need to read the road code!"
           "Well, everyone else does it!"
End of Conversation!
So how could I argue with that? Easy - I checked the road code! and I was right.

But what was funny was that I also informed him he'd been following the Australian rule, because like him, "that's what I've been told." In writing this post, I checked my 'facts' and oops, that's not what the rulebook says ... I guess I just learnt something new...

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