A Stitch in time Saves Nine

“A stitch in time saves nine”

This is an old saying which means that immediate action taken as soon as something goes wrong saves a lot of work and expenses later. Like all other sayings and proverbs this saying is also steeped in great wisdom, lifelong experience and the truth. Sayings etc are like valuable pearls taken out from the deep ocean of life. Proverbs express human learning and wisdom so appropriately, exactly and briefly that the whole universe appears to be confined to a room. “What often was thought but never so well expressed”, applies very accurately to the sayings and proverbs.

Timely action is of great significance. An evil nipped in bud, a mistake corrected on the right time or a damage mended before it is too late would save us a lot of expense, trouble and time. In every walks of life timely action and remedies are of vital importance. We must set right a wrong immediately or else it would grow into a very serious problem difficult to be tackled in future. Problems not addressed in the very beginning often become unmanageable later. The same wisdom is being highlighted by another saying, “Prevention is better than cure”. We should not allow a disease to originate and develop at all. It should be prevented from being born. Why a problem should be allowed to crop up at all? The best is to prevent a bad situation from being arising. Cure and remedy is of secondary importance and it involves more efforts, expenditure, labour and time.

For example, let us take formation of bad habits- smoking, drinking, eating too much sweets, seeing too much of television programmes or indulging in playing cards. These bad habits can be very easily acquired but are very difficult to be eliminated and rooted out. If a child is found smoking or stealing or telling a lie, he or she must be immediately checked and the evil nipped in the very initial stage before it becomes a habit. Once a bad habit is formed it is very difficult to get rid of it. We should never connive at the bad habits of the children. They should be firmly rooted out and all possible steps taken so that the child does not become habitual of them. Similarly, we elders should always be at a guard and be ruthless in stamping out our bad and undesirable tendencies, attitudes, and ideas before they mature into habits and deep rooted practices. The force of habit is very powerful and obliges a person to practice that evil action again and again. If he does not repeat it, he feels very uncomfortable and restless. And one evil leads to so many other evils. A habit of stealing things would lead a person to telling lies, cheating, drinking, drug addiction, illegal and immoral activities and the company of anti social elements. It creates an endless vicious circle. Once you throw a stone into the water and then there endless waves in circles, one after the other, then more and still more. You cannot escape it. Things should be mended and set right then and there. Time or opportunity lost once, is lost forever.

Many of our tragedies, disasters, losses and evils are because we do not pay heed to this saying. In personal, social and national life, there are many examples which very well bring home the truth and wisdom of the saying. Evils in their very serious and devastating forms happen only because we allow them to grow and strike roots deeper and fail to nip them in the bud. A soldier lost the battle and was disgraced only because he did not nail the shoe of his horse in time. A small negligence and so much loss!

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