How to apply the proverb A Stitch In Time Saves Nine in real life

It is quite easy to give up in life. This is exactly what most do. It is quite another to learn from real-world experiences of hundreds of others we interact with. Their rich experiences can often offer us very good lessons for leading far better lives. Certain dimensions of the five "A stitch in time saves nine" instances are sought to be discussed in some detail in this article.


If we solve a problem immediately, we can easily solve further problems. In fact, these problems may not arise in any case. This is exactly what we call as " a stitch in time saves nine". In other words, when the problem itself becomes complicated, we can do nothing about it. There are five major instances that best explain this " a stitch in time saves nine" experiences. The particular focus will be on a) Focus on early careers b) Honeymoon and first two years after marriage c) Every move and words uttered as either parent d) Focus on value-based education of children and e) Preparation for retired life.

Focus on early careers

It needs to be understood that building a career is not and will not start with getting the first job. A job is just the beginning of several dots. One has to effectively join these in the right manner, to make a success of careers, even before the age of thirty. Yes, not everyone is from IIT or NIT or the IIM or ISB. These are the best institutions for corporate careers. These institutions can easily take any person to the highest level when he or she proves himself or herself. However, the journey is very tough for all others. It is imperative that one acquires the best of qualifications in a particular field. It is very important to focus on learning in the first seven years of experience. One should lay his or her hands on a variety of experiences and building of skill sets.

This is easier said than done. Most young men and a few women too fall for the easy route. For them, the money that they earn is meant to be spent. The acquisition of knowledge or qualifications or value-added experience never happens. They would just do the job for earning money. The reality hits them hard only when they get married. Hence, the essential "stitch" at this stage is to postpone all enjoyment and worldly enjoyment at this state and concentrate on career building. If the time is lost, it will never come back. For example, if a person is a M.Com graduate, and a teacher of the B.Com course in a self financing college, he or she has to slog it out, do the M.Phil degree and the doctorate degree compulsorily. After the doctorate, a whole new world will open up. On the other hand, if he or she takes it easy and then also gets married, one can see the doctorates getting the best of jobs. It is not "make this happen". It will be "watch things happen". The "stitch in time" is related to the sixty months of slogging. Nothing more, nothing less. And then the further route. Those who have the gift of the gab, pick up good writing skills, often get to publish articles in the National and International journals. This is sure to take them far ahead. Not doing so will only lead to complacency. The money will never ever come to them.

Honeymoon and first two years after marriage

Whether the girl is educated or not and whether she is employed or not, most would expect the man to fun a good honeymoon within India or abroad and spend at least fifty thousand to even start with. This is the essential "stitch". If the husband says no honeymoon, that would be the starting point of all misery. The young girl will nurse a grievance for a very long time.

And then there are the typical "mamma" boys who give every single pie that they earn to their parents and request the mother to run the family. The "stitch" is horrible. It is not a "stitch" at all. If the girl is also working, she would never like to give the money to her husband in such cases. A good number of divorces happen only due to this attitude of men. The mothers of the boys also need to understand that the world has changed. They need to treat their sons as men. Not as boys. The most essential "stitch in time" that would save all future troubles is to handover the entire money to the husband and wife and allow them to live their life and also run the family. If not, there will be a disastrous experience in the family. And then comes the most essential emotional support on either side. Caring and sharing have to be mutual. Even if the man or women or both come home at 10 PM, they need to spend the vital thirty minutes talking to each other and caring for each other. Only such a good experience can work.

Every move and words uttered as either parent

This is the most vital "stitch in time". If the parents fight with each other in the presence of their children, however young the children may be, that is a sure recipe for disaster. The children will go up either becoming very violent or nursing grievances that relate to lack of care and share. Similarly, using bad words, abusing others, criticizing relatives and so on can create havoc at a later stage. None is perfect in this world. The children need to be taught the best of values. The male child needs to be taught to respect the female child from day one. This is more easily possible in the most sophisticated English medium schools, where most parents are highly educated. It is a huge problem in cases where the mother is also employed, but from the lower classes of society, employed in the big textile showrooms as saleswomen and their husbands employed in ordinary jobs as electricians and so on. The value-building in such families is very tough indeed.

Yet, the "stitch in time that saves nine" has to happen on an everyday basis. Where the husbands take to alcohol and beat their wives, the children start hating their fathers from a very young age. This is often shown in some Hindi or Telugu or Tamil movie and is close to reality. Invariably, the violence at home is also reflected in the immediate environs and the men become anti-social elements more often than not. The need for so many "stitches in time" is so acutely felt in so many families. Marital discord and differences between men and women should never ever become the bane of the peaceful lives of children in such cases.

Focus on value-based education

It is a fallacy to assume that all Government teachers are totally commercial. There are glorious exceptions. They are naturally so good and take as much, or if not more, interest in the welfare of the children, than even the best of English medium schools. If one does not have the resources, one has to search for such good schools and educate their children. Value-based education does not stop with the school. If the children are taught good stories, if they are taught what is right and wrong and the parents also demonstrate honesty, integrity and so on, the "stitches " will all fall in place. If the children notice both parents respecting elders, they will also do so. They will also learn how to do good things. The "stitches in time" are very huge, given the kind of rotten environment that we get to see around us. An environment where the values are totally lost.

Preparation for retired life

This has to start very early. Not only are savings very important, but there are also other aspects of life that are essential too. For example, there is now a big choice of old age homes where one can live on a rented basis and enjoy the company of so many peers from different backgrounds. The children are now part of the rat race and we need to understand that they cannot do all the caring and sharing as was applicable some forty or fifty years ago. Today, the massive advancement of technology has taught the children new skills. The grandchildren of today are also born and brought up in a totally different world of Whats up and Facebook and Twitter. The times have changed. The role of elders needs to be understood in the context of the changes happening all around us. This is the best "stitch in time" that will save nine. We can save all bitterness, all grievances and so on. The new realities are common to all. Once this is accepted, the "stitches" become easy. However, it ought to be noted that the future will always be like this or even become more complicated. For example, when we add another 20 crores to the Indian population in ten years time, where will we go for things like water and the essential infrastructure? What will happen to the rat race?


Based on a number of real-world experiences, this author has suggested some remedies to the five most important " a stitch in time saves nine" instances. There are at least another ten more. However, only the most important five have been discussed. Hopefully, the discussions will open up further debates for more meaningful action, as applicable.

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Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao30 Mar 2019 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

A stitch in time saves nine. This proverb is very apt for our real lives in many ways in all the areas. If you see that your son is learning some bad habits, the moments you observe that you should warn him and see that he will be on the right track. If you wait for some time he will indulge more in those habits and get spoiled more. If you observe a symptom of ill health, you should immediately consult a doctor or take necessary actions so that you will be normal. otherwise, the disease will become chronic and it will become difficult to cure the same. Like this, we can have any examples in our day to day life where this proverb acts as a guide.

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