If there is a hole in your pocket, you have two options the moment you notice it—either you can stitch it up or delay it. If you stitch it up, your pocket will become as good as new, good to hold anything and you will be tension-free. But, like most of the people, we would most likely delay the work and the small, gaping hole will grow larger and larger with each day till we forget all about the hole and put something valuable in it. But by the time you will arrive at your destination,  there would be nothing in your pocket as you must have dropped it somewhere, all thanks to your delayed work. If you had just sewn it up in time, you would not have had to bear the loss. Thus, comes
the proverb: “A stitch in time, saves nine.”

The proverb has an application in every field of life. Whether you are a student, an IAS officer, an engineer,  a doctor or a pilot, this proverb is applicable to a large extent, even on social and individual bases. If you keep delaying a work, you will end up with greater losses and a greater requirement of efforts. Just like one stitch in time can save you from nine other stitches, work done on time can save you from unmanageable disaster.

There is a very famous story about a king of Kalinga. While eating in his garden, he dropped a vessel of honey. Instead of getting it cleaned, he forgot about it altogether. Later, some fruit flies were buzzing around the honey, and a lizard followed. Seeing the lizard, a domestic cat pounced on it. Seeing the cat, a pet dog started chasing it. The owners of the cat and the dog started fighting over their pets. Soon it became the fight of the neighbourhood. But the king just ignored it. Soon the soldiers got involved in it and a mere fight turned into a civil war and the whole kingdom was destroyed in it. Only if the king had done something about the honey, the war would not have taken place!

If you are an engineer and you do not do anything about some defect in the building, it may collapse some day. If you are a doctor and you do not do anything about the clot in the blood vessels, the patient will die. If you are a pilot and you do not report about a problem in the plane, all the passengers have to suffer. If you are a housewife and you do not do anything about a faulty switch, it can lead to an electric shocker or fire. If you have a country to run and you do nothing about the problems that your country faces, then all the citizens have to suffer.

No one can forget about the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984. It was also caused due to lack of response. The Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), Bhopal was in a shanty shape, but nothing was done by the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation (UCC) in response to repeated complains about the poor infrastructure. On December 2-3, 1984, Methyl Isocyanide leaked from its container and caused about 4,000 immediate deaths and about 5 lakh genetic disorders till date. Only if the infrastructure had been taken care of on time, so many people would not have lost their lives. History repeats itself, and this proverb has never been untrue, being validated after every event in the past, whether it was the World Wars or the Second Battle of Tarain, which Prithviraj Chauhan lost due to his overconfidence, the proverb has never failed. Therefore, we must attend to even minor problem, keeping its future pros and cons in mind, and not postpone it for later. This sound and assuring piece of advice never grows stale for a thrifty mind. It is relevant even today and any ignorance of this advice is to your own peril.

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