Don't Overlook the Obvious

By Zig Ziglar

November 7, 2018 2 min read

One night in New York City, a steel plate covering a deep pothole became dislodged. Every time a car passed over it, the plate reverberated and clattered, interfering with sleep and even conversation.

Finally, at about 11 p.m., someone on the block called the police. Two radio cars arrived with five policemen. They all pushed and pulled at the steel plate, trying to get it back where it belonged. Unfortunately, nothing worked, and every time a car passed, the policemen would draw back, covering their ears with their hands because of the noise.

Finally, a woman in a long pink dress carrying an old kerosene lamp emerged from an apartment house. She went to a wooden sawhorse that a builder had left on the street, picked it up and marched to the pothole. Silently, she hung the lantern on the sawhorse and placed it over the pothole. The next car to come along swerved around the sawhorse, of course, and so did all the other cars after that. Then the woman in her pink dress went back to her apartment and the policemen, recognizing a good thing when they saw it, left, too.

This story by John Corry in The New York Times points out what should have been obvious. The solution was within sight, yet no one saw the "obvious," and five policemen were engaged in trying to solve the simple problem. Isn't that the way it is so many times in life? Things might look really dark, and yet the solutions to everyday problems of life are almost always right before us — if we will calmly look at all the possibilities. Remain calm, and I will see you at the top!

To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at Subscribe to Zig Ziglar's free email newsletter through

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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