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Around The Sun: Listen Up

Has it ever occurred to you that common sense isnt all that common. Steve Harrison tells a cautionary tale.

A good friend of mine, whom I have known from years and years, suffers from a condition which seems to be endemic to the human race.

He wanted to send some money which he owed me. Ill send it by Western Union, he said.

I told him I thought that was an expensive way to transfer money.

No problem, said he. Been doing it for years. I know how it works.

I realised in advance that he wouldnt yield, so I had been around town collecting the addresses of local banks which co-operated with Western Union. I gave him the list of addresses.

Dont need that, he said. I know what Im doing. Like I told you, Ive been sending money this way for years.

So off he went on his globe-trotting way.

A week later he sent me an urgent text message, asking me to supply the address of a bank in my area which dealt with Western Union. It took me half an hour to find that list of Western Union agents. I was just about to send him a text message when he phoned me.

Im waiting here in a Western Union office, he complained. Im waiting for your local branch details.

I gently pointed out that I had tried to give him a list containing those details.

Okay, okay, he said irritably. Man this is an expensive phone call! Its going to cost me more than $200!

To cut a long and frustrating story short, we figured out another way that he could send me the money.

And I ended up thinking of a piece of good advice which I heard long ago.

- You have two ears, two eyes, but only one mouth. You should always look and listen for twice as long as you speak.

When you think about it, common sense isnt all that common.

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