February 11, 2017

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For lack of a nail!

By Dr. Nu Nu Win
There’s a saying: .. For the lack of a nail, a shoe was lost;
For the lack of a horse, a rider was lost;
For the lack of a rider, a battle was lost;
For the lack of a battle, a country was lost;
And it all happened for lack of a horseshoe nail.”
As we can see from this saying, it means very big things can be lost just because of a very very small thing which is ignored as if it were unimportant.
Nowadays, not only in our country, but also all over the world, such kinds of losses have happened. Just because of a small malfunction in the radar system of an aircraft, it crashed into a mountain and lost the whole crew. Just because of the lack of a nut, the car lost its brake and crashed into another car or crashed down into a stream or a valley and lost many lives. Just because of a weakness in the security arrangements at the airport, a valuable man was easily assassinated by an assassin at close range.
But, think of all these happenings very carefully. All these events happened because the persons who had responsibility were lacking in the performance of their duty in one way or the other, just because they thought it was just an unimportant thing.
We, Myanmar people also have a proverb in the same meaning, “The pavilion caught fire because of a fire which started from trash”.
And all of Myanmar had a very big loss of many of our great leaders of the Cabinet in 1947, when we were so near to gain our Independence. It is a great heart-breaking story of Myanmar, just because the security arrangements were not good enough.
We can also take a good lesson from a housewife who was careless enough to go out and gossip while her pot was still cooking on the stove. Due to her carelessness and lack of proper precautions a fire broke out at her house which spread from house to house so that in the end the whole quarter was burnt to the ground with many innocent lives lost.
Sometimes, for a student, just because he did not study one or two lessons before he sat for the examination, he could fail in the examination if the lessons that he did not study were included in the question paper. Failure in an important examination could mean a huge loss for him and his career. Sometimes a student can fail in his viva-voce examination (oral exam), if he could not recall an important formula because he did not make adequate preparations. This student could have failed to get distinction marks or lose a very important scholarship. He might have studied diligently the whole year round but carelessness or lack of proper preparations before the oral exam resulted in his great loss.
So, all of us should learn from these events and examples stated above.  As they say “the devil is in the details”.  No detail is so small that we should neglect it.  In life big problems do not crop up overnight. When we are not vigilant enough to take care of the small problems, one day they can become so big that it would be very difficult to solve it. An avalanche began as a small mass of snow sliding down a mountain slope. We should never forget this phenomenon.

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