Begin at the beginning. How many times have you been told that? Oftentimes, we want to be experts at whatever we do and watch a YouTube video or something along those lines and think that we can skip the first three or four steps of learning and go straight to being “good” at something. I mean, how hard can it be to weld a piece of metal together? Or build a dog house? Or try a case?
Well, it turns out, things can be hard if you don’t know the basics or begin at the beginning. If you don’t know how to turn a welding torch on and attach the right gas, you can’t get a blow torch on that will weld anything. If you don’t know how to hit a nail with a hammer, you can never attach two pieces of wood.
I thought through this as I was getting ready for a trial last week. Having practiced law for 22 years now, there are a lot of things about trying cases that I don’t think through while I am preparing. This case, however, I was trying the case with a friend of mine (who happens to be the co-owner of the Union Springs Herald as well) who had never tried a case before. In preparing for trial, we talked about how to try cases, the stages of a trial, and went back to the basics. It made me think about what I didn’t know when I was starting and how I should rethink trying cases and look at things from a new perspective – a beginner’s perspective.
Sometimes we jump ahead of ourselves and forget the beginnings in life. Plato, a great philosopher, said, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Think of something in your life that has been there for a long time. Maybe it’s a relationship. Maybe it’s a profession. Maybe it’s trying cases. Think back to the beginning and the basics and try to look at them in a new light. You might see things in a whole new way.
Christy Crow is an attorney with Jinks, Crow & Dickson, P.C.