Why do we need to read, understand & follow instructions?

Image Credit: Instructions

I know there is a story that men won’t read maps or ask directions but somehow feel they have a sort of internal satnav that will get them to their destination quickly and inevitably if they stubbornly resist any kind of assistance.

And that’s fine. 

I know many men – and indeed women – who always get there in spite of the anxious questioning of folk like me. 


There are consequences to everything.  Sometimes following the instructions too literally can be disastrous:

Dog poo put it in the bin

Image Credit: Dog

Or then there are just beautiful misunderstandings:

Maths question

But for the most part, mistakes are made when we don’t read, or understand, or follow the instructions. 

And it’s important that we do all three! 

Remember in A Fish Called Wanda, when Jamie Lee Curtis tells her idiot brother, ‘I know sheep that could outwit you, I’ve worn dresses with a higher IQ than you, you…ape!’ he replies smugly ‘Apes don’t read philosophy’.  And his exasperated sister retorts ‘Yes, they do Otto, they just don’t understand it.’

We live in a world where Amazon will deliver two Madagascan hissing cockroaches within 12 hours of ordering them, where a major car manufacturer can issue a press release entirely written in emojis and where my son feels ‘OK’ is just too long to write and has abbreviated it to ‘K’ (actually, no, just ‘k’ cos who has the time to press the shift key to make a capital?) 

So why on earth should we put in the time and effort to read instructions, never mind understand and follow them?

Well, my friends, who hasn’t got bored with Ikea’s instructions…

Ikea instruction fail

Image Credit: Ikea Fail

So. On reflection. Perhaps reading, understanding & following instructions might seem a little 'old school' but it might save a lot of heartache, pain & embarrassment.


Victoria x

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