Tag Archives: caution

“Measure Twice, Cut Once”

Kropp was a secret geek in high school. He thoroughly enjoyed sports, rap, and women but had a soft spot for cartoons. He says he would secretly want to be a superhero if he had the chance – “a dope superhero” at that. He is currently a USC student studying environmental science, is enrolled in the NROTC program and loves to skateboard. He has very close ties with his extended family. He hopes to one day commission into the navy as an officer.

“When it comes to sh** that matters, you measure twice, cut once.” Not only is Kropp talking about how much he loves woodwork (because he actually spends hours messing around with wood, even though he doesn’t have a woodshop area yet, he plans on getting one when he graduates college); but Kropp heard this friendly proverb from his father. When Kropp would make mistakes growing up his father would correct him and say this over and over again. He thought his dad was such a hero, such a role model. Then he heard teachers in school saying it. He felt betrayed. When he went home to ask his father about it. His father replied “Son…its a saying. Something you should live by. But something we should ALL live by.”

The way I heard about this is because he and I were working on a project together for a class. I measured the cardboard wrong and we had to go buy a new one. And there you have it. He shook his head and said “Measure twice, cut once”. When I asked him to elaborate he gave the story above. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand it. It was a common meaning – the phrase – but the context was unfamiliar to me.

Analysis: I really love this quote. My parents don’t mess around with tools or maintenance much, the way Kropp grow around a handy father. So I had never heard that saying before, but knew exactly what he meant by it. Basically, think before you do. Don’t jump into things without double-checking, holding everyone or thing accountable. He then elaborated that you could measure a thousand times though, and still end up cutting it wrong. But at least then you can say you tried.