This line from the book got me thinking:
The normally talkative Seward said merely that the “subject involved consequences so vast and momentous that he should wish to bestow on it mature reflection before giving a decisive answer.”
President Lincoln had just asked his Secretary of State what he thought of the Emancipation Proclamation, the now-famous executive order that would prove key to ending slavery in the US. And William Seward wanted to give it some thought.
It wasn’t that he was against such a step – Seward had always pushed to free all enslaved people. But he wanted to determine how best to do that: what course of action he’d advise the president to take, the wording to reach that end, the timing he’d recommend. Throughout the book Lincoln weighs important decisions – on his own or with input from Seward and the rest of the cabinet – by taking the time to consider things from all sides.
The issues you or I weigh in on, of course, don’t come close to being this momentous. Yet for some reason, the bigger the topic, the more we tend to feel we have to decide straightaway. Act now or you’ll be too late, we think, with all the frantic consequences that entails.
While I certainly don’t think our decisions are unimportant, or that we should just shrug them off as details, I do believe that hasty action can work against you. Consider this an invitation for “mature reflection” – for taking the time to stop and think.