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James Gillray: The cow-pock,
-or-The wonderful effects of the new inoculation!
- Vide - the Publications of ye Anti-Vaccine Society (1802)

"I'm more of an amateur than that."

He who hesitates might be temporarily lost, but not often permanently so. The one who tries to seize the day to appear decisive more easily loses himself, but doesn't seem to notice. I usually opt for Hesitance over decisiveness if only because I only rarely ever seem to possess enough information to justify engaging very quickly. I tend to sidle up to experiences, suspicious of their impact and influence. I do not usually readily volunteer. I am an avowed and proud foot-dragger. I prefer to catch up rather than rush ahead. I'd really rather that you go first. I'm not being polite, just cautious.

Try as I might, I cannot quite manage to characterize my Hesitance as a vice.
I think of it as a considerable virtue, of the kind that probably prevent error. Yes, I do tend to deliver late as a direct result, but my delays have, through repetition, become more feature than problem for me. I just don't feel certain at first, except, of course, for feeling fairly certain that I'll fail to finish or succeed. I have never felt terribly confident in my skills or even if I have any. I feel as though I'm just muddling through. I know little, and even less for certain. Let's say that I engage with considerable circumspection. I'm prudent!

Given a choice between new and familiar, I'll choose familiar almost every time. I feel genuinely uninterested in the newest breakthrough technologies. I consider upgrades degrading. I want neither bigger nor better, let alone best. I'd prefer to stay the same rather than change. I am not actively developing my abilities, only hesitantly engaging. I do not confidently stride toward my desk in the morning, certain that I'll write an interesting essay. I slink there instead, praying that nobody will notice me fumbling that first paragraph and reworking it a few times before it conveys something that might prove worth reading. I possess no magic and no talent, either. I am not particularly gifted.

He who hesitates might not be permanently lost, but he's only rarely found. He who habitually hesitates might best understand the price of decisiveness and the value of indecision. Those who seemingly cannot afford to appear afraid and so must forcefully drive ahead might never notice the value of their absent indecision. They appear to go all in without first performing due diligence. I do much more than mere due diligence. I over-do mine. I buy insurance. I hasten so slowly that I might seem like statuary. I'm not procrastinating. I'm more of an amateur than that.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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