Opinion: Tools at the ready 

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Commentary by Terry Anker

While television, films and the 24-hour news cycle, populated by ubiquitous talking heads, might be flattening it a bit, we Americans can still enjoy some nice regional dialects. Brooklyn and Boston each have their own. New Orleans, the Midwest and the valleys of Los Angeles each have unique expressions and pitch. But among the favorites must be the eccentric and entertaining idioms of the great state of Texas. With a sure-fire twang and dead-eyed pithiness, our friends to the southwest get, grinning, to the heart of the matter.

If one is said to have a big hat, no cattle, it notes that the object of assessment is likely pretending to be of greater import than its actual holdings might support. Another personal favorite is that hapless soul who is always fixing to get ready. We all know folks who make it their business to be in a constant state of planning. One might imagine that planning is good. Yes. Yet some of us spend so much of our lives preparing that we fail to reserve any time for the doing!

When is the preparation to end and the executing to begin? If we move too fast, we are rash and lack forethought. Still, if we move too slowly, we fall into a near endless loop of self-reinforcing insecurity. What if we fail? What if we haven’t considered every eventuality? What if the opportunity will improve later?

As a young man, I asked a wise, elderly neighbor when was the best time to trim an overgrown shrub. The man responded by asking me if I had a sharp pair of clippers. He made a good point. Shouldn’t we have our tools ready (education, capital and relationships) so that we are set whenever an obstacle and the time to address it presents?

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