Festina lente

I’m an analyst by trade and temperament.  Sometimes I catch things quickly.  There are more times when I don’t.  When I am working with a customer, and the customer’s expectations are unclear to me, I have to make deductions, take them to my customers, confirm or correct them, and then move ahead.  Some people feel that I take too much time to do what I do.  Time is important but accuracy is essential.

There is an adage in Latin, festina lente. It translates to “make haste slowly” and it means to progress with urgency while maintaining precision. It’s a very feng shui sort of thing. I learned it as an artilleryman. In artillery, we faced the dual challenge of having to move forward at the greatest possible speed while being mindful that our compasses were circumscribed in mils and not degrees. There are 6,400 mils in a circle and a firing equation that is five mils off misses by five meters at a kilometer and 100 meters at 20 kilometers, the distance at which we often shot.  The Infantry was fast.  They could sacrifice precision in exchange for speed and ferocity.  We artillerymen had to be precise.  As soon as we missed a target by 100 meters, a counterbattery attack was launched on us, firing over the same trajectory as we fired.  If they were more precise that we, our end was imminent. 

I’ll stay with making haste slowly.  Gandhi said it best, “there is more to life than increasing its speed.”