We need to stop saying that hindsight is 20/20.
If this were true:
- My friend from high school wouldn't have married a seemingly endless string of deadbeats.
- The United States military wouldn't continue to invade nations in the Middle East hoping to affect meaningful and productive change.
- Poker players wouldn't continue to play ace-queen like it was ace-king.
- Organizations wouldn't continue to hire ineffective leaders.
- Financial institutions wouldn't continue to make risky bets.
- Students wouldn't continue to forget to put their homework in the backpacks.
Human beings are highly adept at repeating their mistakes. Through bad habits, unrecognized flaws, denial, and self deception, many people are incapable of looking back on their lives with anything approximating 20/20 vision.
Even historians disagree when examining the historical record. They debate the wisdom of political decisions, campaign strategies, and military maneuvers.
At best, hindsight is occasionally 20/20.
That's not as catchy as the conventional "Hindsight is 20/20," but at least it's true.