When I discover something of unusual importance, I always pass it along to my friends. This one fits the criteria. Everybody has a few oddities and fortunately, they are often relatively benign. But occasionally some of them are less innocent.
Basically, oddities are indications of something out of the ordinary. If it’s an innocent habit or some other less serious thing, they can be ignored without liability. But when they are subtle indications of a more serious situation, then you should pay attention to them.
If they are intentionally dismissed or explained away without inspection, you could end up with an untold amount of trouble and expense; or in extreme cases with your life in ruins. Ignore at your peril.
When witnessed in others, these oddities leave you thinking, “What’s up with that?” or “What’s really going on here?” or “Why did he (or she) say that anyway?” or, “What really did they mean by that?”
When you see or sense something that just doesn’t seem to add up or make sense, don’t ignore it. If you look carefully, you’ll often discover a situation that unknowingly puts you, your group or your family in real danger. It could be just someone’s way of handling things which is careless or reckless, endangering others unnecessarily. When questioned they often say things like, “But, that’s the way I’ve always done it,” or “That’s the way I grew up.” or some other oddball explanation that does nothing to improve the situation.
Other times, what you uncover may be far more sinister.
They may be involved in some questionable or even illegal practices or activities that would expose you to liability even if you didn’t have direct knowledge of what was going on. Stranger things have happened.
You must not ignore these signals. They may be the only visible evidence you’ll get.
There are three steps to dealing with them:
1) The first time you notice an oddity of some kind, it may be excusable, but make a mental note anyway.
2) The second time it happens, something is going on; it’s not just coincidence. Become suspicious; investigate and gather more information.
3) The third time it occurs, something is very wrong. Get on full alert. Gather your wits and stay calm, but investigate fast and take immediate action to handle what you find. The danger lights are on. There is some big secret you’re not supposed to know about, you’re being set up, someone is trying to nullify you or bring you down, or worse, do you in.
Use whatever resources you have available to minimize or end the danger. Don’t just hope it will go away by itself, it won’t. Take immediate effective action to safeguard your interests before it’s too late. You may not get a second chance.
This may mean that you need to cut your losses or your connection if the situation is so complex that can’t be fully handled without support from others. But don’t ignore it, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Do what you have to do when you’ve got to do it. And do it without flinching, avoiding or neglecting it, once you know what is going on.
After the danger has passed and things have calmed down, reorganize your life with the resolution to be more vigilant in the future, and stick to it.
Consider yourself warned.
Daniel Jacobs, 2010