Friday, February 15, 2013

Untimely inaction is worse than untimely action'

Untimely inaction is worse than untimely action'
By The Post
Fri 15 Feb. 2013, 15:20 CAT

It is said that while virtue must be nourished, vice springs up spontaneously like weeds and grows by itself. For if good ideas foster other good ideas, bad things can foster, on the other hand, other bad things.

Likewise, if we allow impunity for wrongdoers, we are paving way for more wrongdoing. If we allow those who plunder, those who steal public resources, abusing their public offices to get away with it, we are paving way for more and more plunder, more and more corruption, endless abuses of public offices and resources.

It is therefore important that we do not lose sight of this fact in the case of the corruption of Rupiah Banda and his league. We have learnt what happens when militancy over corruption is lost. When we lost our militancy over the corruption of Frederick Chiluba, Rupiah seized the opportunity to let him get away with it so that in turn, he can get away with his own corruption. There is a sort of chain of events here.

We should therefore not allow wrong things, wrongdoing to go unchallenged. If we don't take action now, we will have to pay a much higher price tomorrow for our inaction. To use Lenin's words, untimely inaction would eventually be worse than untimely action.

We have given Rupiah and his league too much time and too much room to manoeuvre over their corruption. Ask yourself: "If I don't take action now, what will it ultimately cost me?"

It is said that when a procrastinator has finally made up his or her mind, the opportunity has usually passed by. Edwin Markum said, "When duty comes knocking at your gate, welcome him in; for if you bid him wait, he will depart only to come once more and bring seven other duties to your door."

There is a lesson to learn here in the way we have dealt with Rupiah. It is close to a year and half now since Rupiah left government. And he has been moving around the world mobilising support, hiring all sorts of agents to protect him when the time for him to account for his corruption comes.

Clearly, what you put off until tomorrow, you will probably put off tomorrow too. Success comes to the person who does today what others were thinking of doing tomorrow. The lazier a person is, the more he or she is going to do the next day. Likewise, we have to do more today to get Rupiah and his corrupt league to account for their corruption. "All problems become smaller if you don't dodge them, but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble" (William Halsey).

We have wasted time. We did not do yesterday what could have been done yesterday. It is said that wasting time wastes your life. "By the street of By and By, one arrives at the house of never," pondered Miguel de Cervantes. It is also said that a lazy person doesn't go through life - he or she is pushed through it. "The wise man does at once what the fool does finally" (Balthasar Gracian).

"Someday" is not a day of the week. Doing nothing is the most tiresome job in the world. When you won't start, you difficulties won't stop. Tackle any difficulty now - the longer you wait, the bigger it grows. Procrastinators never have small problems because they always wait until their problems grow.
In the game of life, nothing is less important than the score at halftime. "The tragedy of life is not that man loses, but that he almost wins" (Haywood Broun).

Don't leave before the miracle happens! Robert Louis Stevenson commented that "saints are sinners who kept on going." The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running. Some people wait so long the future is gone before they get there.

The first step to overcoming procrastination is to eliminate all excuses for not taking action. The second step is not to be so busy! Everyone is always on the move. People are moving forward, backward, and sometimes nowhere at all, as though they are on the treadmill.

The mistake most people make is in thinking that the main goal of life is to stay busy. This is a trap. What is important is not whether you are busy but whether you are progressing; the question is one of activity versus accomplishment.

A gentleman named John Henry Fabre conducted an experiment with processionary caterpillars, so named because they have a habit of blindly following each other no matter how they are lined up or where they are going. In his research, Fabre placed these tiny creatures in a circle. For 24 hours, the caterpillars dutifully followed one another round and round and round. Then Fabre placed the caterpillars round a saucer full of pine needles, their favourite food.

For six days, the mindless creatures moved round and round the saucer, dying from starvation and exhaustion even though an abundance of choice food was located less than two centimetres away. The caterpillars were extremely active, but they were not accomplishing anything.

We should be known as those who accomplish great things for God - not as those who simply talk about it. Procrastinators are good at talking, not doing. It is said that noise produces nothing. And that a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as though she has laid an asteroid.

We must be like the apostles. These men are not known for their policies, procedures, theories, or excuses but for their acts.
It is said that the cost of growth is always less than the cost of stagnation. As Edmund Burke warned, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Occasionally you may see someone who doesn't do anything though appearing to be successful in life. Don't be deceived. Remember the old saying: "Even a broken clock is right twice a day."

Most people who sit round, waiting for their ship to come in, often find it is hardship. Those things that come to a person who waits seldom turn out to be the things he or she's waited for. It is said that the hardest work in the world is that which should have been done yesterday. It is also said that hard work is usually an accumulation of easy things that should have been done last week.

Sir Josiah Stamp said, "It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities." William James reflected, "Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."

When people delay action until all factors are perfect, they do nothing. Jimmy Lyons mused, "Tomorrow is the only day in the year that appeals to a lazy man."
It is said that procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried. Anybody who brags about what one's going to do tomorrow probably did the same thing yesterday. Few things are more dangerous to a person's character than having nothing to do and plenty time in which to do it. Killing time is not murder, it's suicide. Two things rob people of their peace of mind: work unfinished, and work not yet begun.

The Bible promises no loaves to the loafer. "A man with nothing to do does far more strenuous 'labour' than any other form of work. But my greatest pity is for the man who dodges a job he knows he should do. He is a shirker, and boy! What punishment he takes…from himself" (E.R. Collcord).

Clearly, we have to carve out a future; we shouldn't just whittle away the time.

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