Don’t Wait ’till Tomorrow

  03 Jun 2016

“A stitch in time saves nine.”  – English Proverb

I used to love to sew- making beautiful things from placemats to making a dress for my daughter’s school dance, prom and other functions. Each time, I could hear my mother saying,  “Don’t wait until you need the dress tomorrow to start.  You start early and make adjustments as you go along to make it in time.”  I used to rush things and not do a good job in sewing and needle work.”  Procrastination…  Lately it’s writing this column… I used to have an outline for a whole month.. and promised  myself to email it before noon.  It’s now 2:28 p.m., and I’m fumbling.  I can’t blame it on my aging or other things… I think I’ll just write about it. [restrict]

This is a proverbial expression to mean as an incentive to the lazy. It’s especially gratifying that ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ an incentive to NOT procrastinate.

Many English proverbs encourage immediate effort as first-rate to putting things off until later; for example,  ‘procrastination is the thief of time‘ and ‘tomorrow is in calendar of fools‘ … ‘or a chomkokl sechou a medings’.

The ‘stitch in time’ notion has been current in English for a very long time and is first recorded in Thomas Fuller’s Gnomologia, Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British, 1732: long  long time ago.  Fuller wrote an explanatory preamble to this one: “Stitch in Time May save nine.”

“Because verses are easier got by heart, and stick faster in the memory than prose; and because ordinary people use to be much taken with the clinking of syllables; many of our proverbs are so formed, and very often put into false rhymes; as, a stitch in time, may save nine; many a little will make a mickle. This little artiface, I imagine, was contrived purposely to make the sense abide the longer in the memory, by reason of its oddness and archness.”

I like Tyler Perry’s movies… because it is in laughter that the painful message is got in the heart.   Like “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.”  In other words, I know I’ve been screwed up so many times before.  And I know my badness, please, —no need for you to be so mean to me.   I can be mean to me all by myself.

In his book, “Gifted Hands’ Carson relates that, in his youth, he had a violent temper.  He said he once tried to hit his mother over the head with a hammer over a clothing dispute and, while in the ninth grade, he attempted to stab a friend who had changed the station on the radio; the blade broke in his friend’s belt buckle. Carson began reading proverbs on anger… as a result, Carson states he “never had another problem with temper.”   For example, nine friends, classmates and neighbors who grew up with Carson, told CNN in 2015 they did not remember the anger or violence Carson has described; all expressed surprise about the incidents that Carson said had occurred.

I like Carson’s friends… they only remember the good. [/restrict]

 

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