As area building supervisor in the 1960s, my father was responsible for the construction of a church building in the city of Hermosillo on the west coast of Mexico. The plans called for an unusual vaulted, reinforced concrete roof over the main part of the large building. He traveled frequently between our home in Mexico City and Hermosillo to check on the building’s progress.
One evening Dad received a phone call from the site supervisor in Hermosillo informing him that all the preparations had been made to pour the roof starting early the next morning. Dad was taken by surprise. He hadn’t expected the forms to be ready so soon for the pouring of the concrete. Much to the chagrin of the site supervisor, Dad told him to hold off on pouring the roof until he could get there to make an inspection.
“But everything is ready!” protested the voice on the other end of the phone. “We have all the equipment in place, the cement, sand and gravel is on site and the men are ready to go. The forms have been built, the rebar is laid out and all the plumbing and electrical conduit is in place. A delay now would be very costly!”
Something just didn’t feel right. Even though he had confidence in the site supervisor who had more years than he did working with concrete and steel, something just didn’t feel right. “No,” he said. “Do not pour the roof until I can get there to inspect the preparations.”
Within 24 hours, Dad was in Hermosillo and went from the airport directly to the building site where he made a thorough inspection of the forms. He found that the beams that were to support the vaulted cement roof had not been properly formed and braced as per the plans. If the concrete had been poured as they were, the whole roof would have collapsed, unable to bear the weight of the concrete. The workers could have been seriously injured or even killed.
Many years later, when Dad was well into his 90s, he commented to me how glad he was that he did not give in to the appeals of the supervisor on that occasion. He was so thankful that he had followed his heart. So it is, I believe, with each of us. When we hear that still small voice speaking to our minds and hearts, in whatever circumstance, it is well to give it heed.
The more we listen and act, the stronger the influence. It is like doing other things, the more we persist in doing the difficult, the easier it becomes. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “That which we persist in doing becomes easy, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our ability to do has increased.”
In golf as in life, it’s the follow through that makes the difference.