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Twitter Wisdom

I’m sure most of you have heard of what used to be called “Twitter” (now labeled “X” under Elon Musk’s ownership). It’s a social media entity where people can share opinions/photos/videos about anything under the sun. Some of you may have participated by “tweeting” something along the way.

I have a Twitter account that I haven’t visited for more than a decade. It dates back to my working days as a trade magazine editor when my superiors advised me to get on board in order to keep in touch with our audience. I think I weighed in once or twice but for the most part avoided tweeting simply because I did not think there’s much worth saying within the platform’s limit of something like 140 characters.

I was wrong. Certain sayings are short but profound. Shakespeare’s writings are filled with short sentences that say a lot. (“Brevity is the soul of wit … a rose by any other name is but a rose … uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”)

With that in mind, I’m going to share a few twitterisms that are pertinent to people in the trades.

  • Measure twice, cut once. Rushing things leads to mistakes. Another way of putting it is:
  • Haste makes waste.
  • Work smart, not hard. Hard work is a given but don’t make it harder than it needs to be. If a shortcut doesn’t work, you’re being lazy. If a shortcut saves time and works, you’re being clever.
  • The boss may not always be right, but he’s always the boss. When the boss is wrong, you need to learn how to persuade rather than argue.
  • Penny wise, pound foolish. Opting for the cheapest tools, materials and methods will usually cost more in the long run.
  • Neither a borrower nor a lender be. Stay out of debt, and avoid lending money, tools or anything else to others.
  • The early bird gets the worm. Trade work often begins shortly after sunrise. If you’re a late sleeper, you may want to consider a different career.
  • An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. It’s tempting to seek revenge when someone crosses you, but it usually makes a situation worse.
  • If you want a thing done well, do it yourself. Actually, this saying needs to be ignored when training someone.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention. No matter how well you’re trained, you will confront situations that you’ve never seen or heard of. You’ll need to get creative.

I will close with three sayings that are related, and applicable not only to trade work, but to any of life’s endeavors.

  • Not knowing something is not as bad as being certain about what’s not so.
  • There’s no such thing as a dumb question.
  • Hearing is not the same as understanding.