In Proverbs, the fool and the prudent person are often paired up as opposites. The fool speaks and acts without thinking. The Prudent person thinks before they act.
In basketball it is easy to dribble yourself into trouble. You dribble into a trap, and then two people force you to pick up your dribble and try to pass out of a bad situation. The rule for dribbling — have somewhere in mind that you are going before you dribble the ball. And a follow up, don’t stop dribbling until you get somewhere. As soon as you stop your dribble the defender can be all over you, making it hard to pass or to even see where the other players are.
If you have more than 60 seconds here is a bonus story to help cement in your head — think first.
I was twenty. Going to school and working graveyard at a small hospital as a security guard. Between 2 and 4 am there was not much to do and plenty of time to talk. Three of the nurses and I, hit it off real well. Even after I stopped working there, we would get together every few months and go out to breakfast and catch up with each other. One of the nurses lived in a complex with a pool. I starting asking her, bugging her really about letting me come over and learn how to swim. I had flunked out of sea-horse swim school as an eight year old. In junior high I had read about fathers taking their kid out in the middle of the lake and tossing them in the water and the kid learned to swim. My version of this was tossing myself into the deep end of my friend’s pool. My friends thought I was playing around as i went under once, twice, then a third time. I survived but didn’t learn how to swim. Now i was ready to take a chance — on learning to swim. One day she said she would teach me to swim. I went over and we chatted for a few minutes. Two things stood out. She had a Swedish style rocking chair (not a surprise since she was from Sweden). It had extra long rails on the bottom so that it tips back much farther than most rocking chairs. She remarked that I seemed comfortable with it going back so far, and that most people were afraid to let it rock all the way back. And I made a mistake when looking at pictures she had in the living room. I asked if one picture was a picture of her father. No, it was a picture of her husband. Oops.
We went out to the pool. She helped me learn to relax and to float. Although I still couldn’t swim across the pool I was much better than when I started. Eventually she said that I could shower first, and that she was going to swim a few laps. I was proud that I’d tried to swim. All my concentration had been on that. You probably were able to think first and you are way ahead of me in this story. I got in the shower in my trunk to wash the chlorine out of them and then it finally dawned on me. She was expecting us to have sex. She had been hesitant to teach me to swim because she thought i meant more than learning to swim. For my part, she was older — like 30 and married– way to old for me to consider having any kind of relationship with. What a dummy I was. This is all finally dawning on me. I’m standing in the shower in the apartment of a cute blond Swedish girl and she is going to be coming at any minute ready to have sex with a young energetic guy — ME.
I threw on my clothes over my swim suit and met her at the door as she was coming in. I said something about an appointment that I suddenly remembered and blew past her as she was coming in the front door. I didn’t think first, but at least I finally started thinking and got out of the situation. No more swimming lessons for me.
Thinking first would have been very helpful in this situation. And not only thinking first, but thinking about was is going on with other people and not just being focused on myself.