It’s the little things…


I remember one day when I was young maybe 5 or 6. I wanted to be ambidextrous and my sekuru (grandfather in the Shona language) was teaching me to write with my left hand. After a while as often happened, the lesson evolved and it turned into a handwriting session instead. I remember we were sat outside in the sun at an old desk and kitchen chairs. He said something in passing which in the past week I have taken on as a valuable lesson. He told me “you must always dot your ‘i’ and cross your ‘t’.

At the time this didn’t resonate much with me. I didn’t quite get the importance of what he was saying. Now I understand it to have been a simple but vital lesson in attention to detail, commitment and purposefulness. “How?” you might ask, well…

1. to dot your ‘i’ is almost unnecessary because almost always the implication of the full letter is there. However without the dot, the letter is incomplete, a short cut. Your sentence will always make sense but it’s not quite right… Lacking full execution, cutting corners which may not seem important in writing but who is to say it’s not a habit that will grace everything else you do?

2. Again dotting your ‘i’ or taking the time to cross your ‘t’. That’s a purposefulness where you are taking note of the finer details, taking pride in producing wholesome work. A lesson in meticulous execution. The attention to detail that you must have when proofing your work to see where the ‘i’ is not dotted and the ‘t’ is not crossed. Imagine how useful that practice of self analysis can have either in life, in the job you have now, the exams you write etc. Usually, it’s the small mistakes that can take away focus from the credibility of your work or the value of a presentation.

I often think that its in small everyday actions that habits are founded. Therefore being purposeful, thorough and paying attention to detail can have an impact on all you do. How you appear, how you interact, and many other facets of life. Even biblically “it’s the small foxes that spoil the vine”. So weeding out imperfections can go a long way to bettering your general conduct. All these qualities potentially developed from a simple habit in one area of your life that can become an influence in how you operate.

Now… *Stop Sign* slow down before you go back dotting and crossing every work you ever produced. This is simply an interpretation of spoken words and me taking a deeper meaning from them. I often find lessons in nothing sometimes, but maybe with this one, I may be onto something? Thoughts?


5 thoughts on “It’s the little things…

  1. I think that saying is a great multi-pronged saying. There is definitely the literal sense of it which is helpful for people beginning to do hand-writing, and the reading-between-the-lines interpretation for paying attention to the details is something I never considered.

    I have been attempting to write my journal in cursive for the last week, and I notice how important it is in cursive to dot the i’s and j’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is indeed! ‘i’s and ‘j’s.. those two can easily be mistaken in cursive! && I actually thought of your journal post in a team meeting today when they said certain exams were to be computerised now due to examiners failing to read handwriting as it is (as you mentioned a lost skill) and infrequently practiced in this and upcoming generations. Good on you practicing your cursive -keep the skill alive 👏🏾


  2. I agree. For me it’s mostly about attention to detail. Not being mindful or thorough can easily make or break a situation. It can also leave others with a bad impression of you. And that one little uncrossed t could haunt you forever!

    p.s. I nominated you for a Liebster! Check out my que + aye post if you want to participate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From
    Meaning: Complete the job paying attention to the details.
    Origin: When writing, many people complete a word before returning to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s. Someone in a rush might neglect to complete the task. The phrase has been extended to any job, not just writing.

    It’s not just the details but the act of completing the job or thought. That’s always been my view when I’ve used this saying.

    PS Thanks for following me.

    Liked by 1 person

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