WhatsApp Wednesday: The Concrete Slab

An army barracks had four soldiers guarding a concrete slab in front of the barracks at all times. Different commanders came and went but the tradition remained; the soldiers changed shifts guarding the slabs.

concrete slab story

After 80 years, a new commander was assigned to the barracks. Amongst the things he did was to ask why things were done the way they were. When he asked why soldiers were guarding the slab, he was told, We’ve always done it this way. It’s our tradition. Our former commanders instructed us to do that.

The commander was bent on finding out the reason for this practice. He went to the Archives to look for answers and came across a document that had the explanation.

The document was very old. It had instructions written by one of the retired commanders who had even passed away. The new commander learnt that over 80 years ago, the barracks wanted to build a platform where events could be performed. When the concrete slab was laid, wild animals walked over it at night before the slab would dry. The soldiers would fix it the next morning but when evening came the same thing would happen. So the commander ordered that four soldiers should guard the concrete slab for three weeks to allow it to dry.
The following week the commander was transferred to handle another assignment elsewhere, and a new commander was brought in. The new commander found the routine and continued to enforce it without asking any question.
And since then, every other commander that came did the same.

Thus, eighty years later; soldiers continued guarding the concrete slab. An assignment that was ordinarily designed to last just three weeks. . . 80yrs of ignorance with hard labour has passed.

Are you carrying on obsolete beliefs, attitudes and traditions that were relevant to certain people or a certain time? What is your opinion about yourself, people of a different race, the opposite sex, religion, politics, certain business opportunities, new products etc.? You might just be guarding a concrete slab. Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.

Think about it…

 

If you missed our last WhatsApp Wednesday, click here to read it.

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