Second thoughts are better

ἕτερος δέ με θυμὸς ἔρυκεν. αὐτοῦ γάρ κε καὶ ἄμμες ἀπωλόμεθ᾽ αἰπὺν ὄλεθρον.

                                                                           Homer, Odyssey, Book IX, line 302


And another thought checked me. For there even we would perish in utter ruin…

Odysseus contemplating killing the Cyclops in book IX of the Odyssey, but realizing on a second thought that he would also kill his men and himself. Far too often this happens to ourselves. We do things without thinking and in the process harm others or ourselves with realizing it right away.

Euripides has more to say about this:


αἱ δεύτεραί πως φροντίδες σοφώτεραι.

                                                                           Euripides, Hippolytus, Line 436

Second thoughts are wiser.

So second thoughts are often wiser. Try to think twice before you do something, as you may have heard many times before. This wisdom is deep rooted in the literary sources. Otherwise, you may literally seal your fate with a lofty stone.


Odysseus escapes his captor by trickery after thoroughly thinking through his problem.

Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe


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