"Haste makes waste, Tadpole. This very old proverb dates back to 190 BCE. Even back then, frogs knew that hurrying can lead to mistakes. Haste here means not only to do do things quickly, but to do them in a slapdash way. Waste can mean several things; likes loosing out on something or, as in your case, not doing something efficiently. When we fail to take a few moments to think out what we need to do, mistakes invariably occur. We should not be too hurried in our projects. That includes even the small and simple ones, like setting the table. Your haste in setting the table meant that you had to spend extra time getting the rest of the dishes and silverware, otherwise we'd be forced to drink our tea with the fork! Do you understand what I'm saying?" " I do, Dharma. You know that I'm usually far more organized than this. I don't know what's the matter with me today."
We may think that getting things done quickly is the most efficient thing to do, but in our haste we may plan things badly, make mistakes that need to be rectified at a later date and cut corners that will ultimately cause us to take much more time on the project in the long run. Cutting corners at home, at work or at school may results in wasted time and resources. Taking time over something can be enjoyable and more productive. Skipping a plan can result in overspending or poor use of resources. Being less hasty can save time in the long run as we spend less time correcting hasty mistakes. A study conducted by a couple of neuroscience professors at Vanderbilt University shows that the brain actually switches into a special mode when pushed to make rapid decisions. The brain uses the same basic method to make both deliberate and rapid decisions. In order to shorten the decision-making time, the brain simply reduces the cumulative amount of neuronal activity it requires before making a decision. Because the brain must make snap decisions based on less information than it uses for slower decisions, the likelihood that it will make mistakes increases. What this means is that identical information presented to the brain is analyzed differently under speed stress than under accuracy stress.
Haste makes waste...or a hasty frog drinks his tea with a fork...seems like a simple message, but it has real and useful significance. It reminds us to take care with our work. It can also remind of the health and safety issues we will encounter if we rush through things. And, it shows us that when we hurry, we can miss out on my many of the good things in life. Taking a little time gives us the opportunity to fully appreciate life. Too, it's a great reminder to plan ahead and that helps us relieve stress when we do. I know I'm not likely to forget to do my food shopping again. I sure don't need another stressful morning like this one!
After Dharma left, I gathered myself together, made up my shopping list and was at
the store at soon as it opened. It felt good to be organized and to have my life back on track.