26 July 2007

A Stich in Time Saves Nine

I feel great every time I'm greeted with smiles as I make my way to my office to start work every morning. Those simple greets and smiles really give me a boost to start of my work in a good an enthusiastic mood. But I noticed that there are some people who have difficulties to put up smiles on their faces.

Anyway, that's not the topic.

I went out to buy a stop valve for the main water supply of my bathroom during my lunch break today. I found a very small leak from the stop valve about a month ago but didn't bother to replace it as the leak was very small and after all, it was leaking on to the bathroom wall and slowly dripping down to the floor, so its no a big deal. And more importantly, I don't want to spend some of my precious time to go to the store to get a valve and do the replacement.

Unfortunately, yesterday, I noticed that there were big wet spots on my bedroom wall. Upon checking it out, I found out that the small drips from the stop valve has developed into a larger leak and the water has found its way through a small hole on the wall. The water has been gradually accumulating inside the wall and has started to wet the other side of the wall which is my bedroom.

If I had taken some time to rectify the defect earlier, it wouldn't had come to this stage. There are times when we try to save some time by neglecting something but end up with bigger problems instead.

I've faced this type of situation in other occasions as well. I'm not a shopper and I hate to go shopping. Most of the time, I will prepare a list of things that I need to buy and head straight to a place where I can get all the things in my list and I do it real fast. Once or twice, when I was buying some clothes, I was so reluctant to take my time to try them on first in the fitting room, which would have taken me just a few minutes but I chose to head straight to the register.
When I got home and tried the clothes, they didn't fit me well that I had to head back to the store to get them replaced. I ended up spending more than an hour for that.

The proverb "A stitch in time saves nine" always comes to my mine every time I was caught in this kind of situation. If there is a small hole in your shirt, taking one stitch right away saves needing to take nine stitches later because the hole is definitely going to gradually grow bigger. A small repair in time prevents a bigger problem.

It is better to take care of small problems as they arise and while they are easily manageable. It is better to immediately fix a small drip in the ceiling when it rains rather than wait and ending up with a flooded room. It is better to rectify a small engine oil leak rather than wait and ending up with an engine failure. It is always better to do it now rather than later. I'm sure that there are many more examples where we may encounter this type of situation both at work and in our personal lives.

"An Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is another proverb that has similar meaning to this.

Having said all this, I don't think that I've learned my lesson yet!


  1. I didn't know the proverb but it's so true !

    And we all know it... like let's say, if I have an appointment at the bank, and I forget to double check which kind of document I need, I can be sure I'll miss a paper. We're all like that !

  2. I know what you mean, we're all about taking care of things later, whether it be a relationship or a leaky pipe, I haven't learned my leason yet either

  3. Zhu,
    That's a good example and it has happened to me before.

    You're right, time has been so precious and insufficient that we always do the things with high priority first and leave the less important ones for later, but sometimes, those with least priority turn out to be more important.

  4. Add to your list the saying, "Big things come from small things." :)

  5. nupigirl

    Put a "comment sayin Actions speak louder than words"



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