An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Henry de Bracton's De Legibus (c. 1240). This proverb has been around for hundreds of years and is still true today. The proverb speaks to doing things now that will have positive future impact. The little things we do up front can have monumental impact down the road. The ounce of prevention involves truth and advance knowledge, and it is the reason why we get polo or flu shots. In this application, prevention will be more powerful than the cure because it has the potential to make the cure unnecessary.
The ounce of prevention is true for relationships as well. Some relationship pitfalls can be avoided. The earlier the information is known, the greater the impact. Over the years, I have talked to many women who have said to me, “Had I known this about him up front, I would never have wasted my time with him in the first place.” The “this” varied from woman to woman, but the “had I known” was the common thread that ran through all their accounts. How differently things would have turned out it these women had had some foreknowledge.
What we don’t know can hurt us. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). It is only the truth that we know that can make us free. The truth we know is our ounce of prevention. We are empowered when we use the information we have to better our decision. Prevention is a function of information and choice. It is a good idea to use every one of your senses to help you in your relationship decisions. If it does not look, smell, or feel right, it may not be right.
We are surrounded by the truth. We live in a world today that provides us plenty information. When it comes to relationships, you must be patient not to move too fast. While your brain is processing information, your heart is establishing emotions. We must choose to maximize the power of our brain to sort through the tons of information we receive every day. What we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch sends millions of signals to our brain and we must sort through it quickly to make it useful. Prevention is the patience needed for the truth to reveal itself.
It has been almost 800 years since Henry de Bracton's De Legibus wrote those famed words. It is true than and now that our present actions will determine our future outcome. In today’s complicated relationship environment, moving too fast will result in emotional based decisions and that person will most likely end up with the “had I known” regret. An ounce of prevention is letting the truth about the other person reveal itself. This requires patience, information, and choices that are based on time. You must be confident that truth always reveals itself over time, and good things still come to those who wait.
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.