If hindsight is 20/20, than insight can be priceless. I read this morning in the Wall Street Journal that as the dollar nosedives gold futures rise. Gold futures climbed above $1,300 an ounce recently garnering the title, “stable currency,” by the Commerzbank in Germany.
My timing is never perfect and, in hindsight, I probably should have hung on to those gold remnants of my past but I sold some of my gold earlier this summer. Just those few pieces that were tucked into the recesses of my jewelry box that I knew I’d never use (and might even lose) before I’d ever wear them again. My jeweler gave me a fair price – not nearly what we paid many years before I realized that all that glitters is not necessarily gold.
I read an interesting paper recently that focused on clinicians giving the wrong advice to patients and even diagnosing the wrong disease and prescribing treatment that was inappropriate. The last paragraph stated,
“If we understand the actual circumstances that led to adverse events, we can gain the insights that can be used to make those constraints more evident…”
There is so much truth to that statement. If only we could understand. If only we saw it coming. If only we had waited instead of jumping in or on the bandwagon. I imagine that insight could very well be the secret ingredient in the mix.
Why does insight elude so many for so long? Sir Francis Bacon’s aphorism,
“knowledge is power“ has an ironic twist that many are not aware of. He died of pneumonia that he contracted while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat. Imagine that. I wonder if he should have changed his famous quote to read, “Insight saves lives.”
Maybe the insight vs. hindsight debate could replace some of the political debates these days. If only…if only we knew then, what we know now.
Hindsight is Priceless!
 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Florida, Jacksonville, FL, “Replacing Hindsight With Insight: Toward Better Understanding of Diagnostic Failures”, Robert L. Wears, MD, MS and Christopher P. Nemeth, PhD