The expression “haste makes waste” can be traced back to the Book of Wisdom, an apocryphal book of the Bible written in 190 BC. Though the exact expression “haste makes waste” is not used, the book does express the general idea that someone who makes haste can actually end up “more behind” than someone who takes more time.
Benjamin Franklin penned “haste makes waste,” and, I’m sure he felt that since 1,800 years had passed, people needing reminding. As for me, I’ve had to have that lesson several times in my life.
Many years ago, I was excited to purchase my first car. It was the first auto that I selected and paid for by myself. I chose a red, standard transmission, Chevy Chevette. It was really cool. Okay, maybe not “cool,” exactly. It had no air conditioning and only an AM radio, but it was red! The first weekend I had it, I was out on the interstate and was seeing just how fast I could go. In those days, the speed limit was 55 and so I nudged her up a little. Soon, I was doing almost 70! I likely would have come to my senses pretty soon, but the whirling police lights behind me slowed me down right away. It probably wasn’t the smartest response when the officer said to me, “I clocked you at 64” to say, “Is that all?” There was no way I was getting out of that ticket. Haste cost me 50 bucks that day.
About 15 years later, I was working on a project with our young son. Each Christmas, we bought sweat shirts for the various grandparents, and he hand painted them. That year, we were also doing a sweatshirt was for his dad, who was out at a meeting. As he would finish one, I took the shirt down the three steps from our kitchen to the dining room to spread them to dry. I was trying to hurry to get them all done, dried, and hidden before Matt came home. On the last shirt, I didn’t notice our dog at the bottom of the stairs. I stepped on the dog, who jumped up, knocking me down. I landed flat on the freshly-painted sweatshirt. Not only did we have to re-do the shirt, but I had to change my own shirt which now had fabric paint all over it. That rushing cost us time and effort!
You’d think I’d have learned this lesson by now, but sadly it appears not. Last weekend we had several Memorial Day plans scheduled. I jumped up out of bed on Saturday, pulled on some clothes, and raced off (within speed limits) to Kroger to get the food we would need. I came home, put all the groceries away, and put on a big pot of chili. It was then that I noticed I had been wearing my shirt inside out — all through the grocery store. Haste only cost me embarrassment that time.
I do hope I catch on to Ben’s wisdom at some point!
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Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.