One of the many weaknesses of which man must be warned is
procrastination or putting off things that can be done today till a later
date. There is some natural inertia in man which makes him lethargic. He
knows he must work but he doesn't want to unless he is goaded, very
often leaves things where they are. If it doesn't affect him personally he
doesn't act immediately. He would rather bask in idleness. To make him
work and act many incentives are offered. Thus we see in business, what
is called an incentive bonus. In regular services they are offered increments.
Man knows that putting off till tomorrow what one can do today
is bad. So there are many maxims like 'time and tide wait for no man'.
'Take time by the forelock'; 'Make hay while the sun shines'. These
idioms go to show how society realize the value of time and doing thing
in time. For time lost is a loss forever and it can't be brought back.
Hence the proverb 'procrastination is a thief of time.'
Time is a factor which is very important, the more so nowadays.
In the jet-age or the 'Supersonic-age' everything takes place at a speed
which the ancients would never have dreamed of. A generation or so ago
it took many days to reach Malaysia from India. Now it is a matter of
less than four hours. In order to keep pace with the speed with which
things move, man also must know how to act quickly. Suppose one has
to fly on a mission or business to a distant place he has to be at the
airport very early. A delay of even five minutes would see the plane
taken off and his whole program would be causing a lot of chain
reactions. Suppose a man fails to turn up at the hour he has fixed for an
engagement he would not only lose his face but it may also tell on his
future with which his whole life is tied up. The more complex and
technological the society grows, the value of time grows equally acute.
Work falls in arrears, means he has to work harder and even faster
the next day. This is found among students who often postpone doing
their homework and wait for the weekend holiday to come. But when the
holiday comes they find it difficult to sit and do their homework while
their friends are playing outside. The next day they have to think of
ways and means to deceive their teachers when homework has to be
There is a sense of fulfillment for those people who are punctual
and regular in their work. They enjoy a guilt-free conscience. A forcibly
true example is the case of health. If there is any ailment one should
attend to it immediately. Some people hide their ailments only to suffer
later, when it is too late. When one is regular and punctual it adds to his
dignity and brings him peace at heart.
It requires principles, discipline and will power to do one's duty
on hand at once. If only one were to keep a record of idle hours it would
be astounding to see the sum total of the time. One must develop the
philosophy of life quoted in the 'Village Blacksmith', 'Something
attempted, something done, earned him a night's repose'.