In Haste

It is very easy to obliterate one’s good reputation and public esteem by uttering one ill-considered, hasty remark. A person may build up the regard one has for oneself and from others only to see it fall like a house of cards. People tend to remember the error rather than dwell upon the good contributions performed by the party in question.

There are varying degrees and instances as to how this plays out. In the most superficial sense, a friend misinterprets a suggestion to be an insult. In the most serious case, a person with a great reputation commits a bank robbery. So, here we see the different levels of justification regarding a swift change of opinion–valid or not.

Meantime there are snags that are not understood nor resolved by rushing through them. However, if more time is allowed for careful analysis, discussion, and effort, those problems are more likely to be resolved. Also, if one is less hasty, then there are fewer chances that anger will explode and resentments will simmer.

A skillful teacher knows that many of her pupils will not learn obedience or attain knowledge and skills by attempts to control and manipulate them. The teacher understands that such pupils will eventually come to realize the importance of the lessons at their own speed and by their individual cognizence. The patient teacher knows that if the pupil absorbs the lesson on his own, that the knowledge will be better retained. Furthermore, when teaching is attempted by force and manipulation, the pupil exhibits stubborness, which short-circuits the learning process.

“Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”–Swiss critic, moral philosopher, and poet, Henri Frédéric Amiel

We understand that haste is not always a bad thing. Sharing compassion, goodness, and kindness sooner rather than later can enhance our relationships with others. This is one of the reasons for social courtesies such as offering simple refreshments to acquaintances and friends when they visit our homes. The gestures allow the guests to feel welcome and valued right away. Even asking the common greeting, “How are you?” indicates an elementary level of kindness that puts the visitor at ease.

Why do we preach common proverbs? “Look before you leap.” “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” “Stop and think.” Haste makes waste.” We have come to understand that we are more effective when we take the time to gather sufficient information and learn skills before making decisions and taking action. We tend to form better judgments after gathering pertinent data and background along with focused deliberation regarding a scenario. Such a practice along with avoiding over-analysis will generally yield satisfying results.

In everyday life, using careful discernment and sufficient time for informed decision making will help save disappointment and money. We know that salespersons who deal in major appliances, motor vehicles, and the like, sell more merchandise when they are able to short-circuit the prospects’ concerns and doubts by rushing the decision process. When we remember that haste makes fatter commissions, we benefit. This knowledge is helpful whether you are the salesperson or the consumer.

Meantime, there are other opportunities that can only benefit us by making haste. When there is a set time-frame for decision and action, it is best to strike while the iron is hot, while being careful to determine whether or not the proposal is a get rich quick scheme. When there is a clear opportunity for gain, we skim the pluses and minuses. If the positives outweigh the negatives, we pursue the opportunity. After all, many bona fide opportunities have short expiration dates.

In the broader scope of life in general, living is more beautiful and joyful when we understand the deeper meaning behind the proverb, “Haste makes waste.” It is good to spend long hours pondering the Universe. Doing so helps us prioritize how we spend our short lives.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes former U.S. Secretary of the Interior under Presidents J.F.K and L.B.J., Stewart Udall. “If, in our haste to ‘progress,’ the economics of ecology are disregarded by citizens and policy makers alike, the result will be an ugly America. We cannot afford an America where expedience tramples upon esthetics and development decisions are made with an eye only on the present.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Meanderings, philosophy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to In Haste

  1. bloom|time says:

    What a prescient quote from Udall.

  2. Time is a finite resource. It always struck me as funny that lawyers file motions for “enlargement of time.” If only that were possible.

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