For the want of a nail


This is a quote from Benjamin Franklin, although similar ones have been in circulation much earlier. The earliest version was by John Gower in 1390.

“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”

The story describes how a seemingly inconsequential detail can lead to a disaster.  A number of historians think that the original poem may refer to the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

But it doesn’t matter where or how the poem came into being, what matters is how it affects us.  We as preppers need to remember this poem; it is very easy to forget the nail.  An example could be if you have to bugout something as simple, as poor socks can affect your health.  Poor socks cause blisters.  Blisters can lead to infections which under extreme conditions can result in your inability to travel or even death.

Poor water filtration, not washing your hands, taking shortcuts while storing your food, all seem like small things at the time you did them, but anyone of these can cause you much larger problems.

In prepping, it is easy to work on the big things and forget the small.  Lack of attention to detail can cause us great harm.

This is a common lesson for us all.  It is easy to measure the big; it is easy see the large.  However, the “want of the nail” reveals the value of moving gradually toward your goals.  If you can’t achieve the small, you may never achieve at all!


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