There is some inborn lethargy in us which makes us ignore the possibility of trouble, even after we have seen the first faint beginning of this trouble. The consequence, very often, is that the trouble is aggravated and we regret our complacency and lethargy when it is too late. A man’s lack of foresight and failure to guard himself against danger often lands him in serious trouble. “Nip the mischief in the bud”, “A stitch in time saves nine” and such other sayings exhort us at the star. But even sounder is the precept ‘Prevention is better than cure’, which asks us to take precaution so that the trouble is not allowed to start at all.
A young man sometimes handles a razor blade carelessly, cuts his finger, allows the cut to be septic and, when the pain is unbearable, consults a doctor. The doctor takes a serious view of the case and prescribes prolonged and costly treatment. The cure costs a lot of time and money and mental agony. Would it not have been better for him to take precautions while using the blade? We can always protect ourselves against common ailments and diseases with proper precautionary, preventive measures.
The proverb has universal application. Prevent a machine, a building, road, a bridge, and so on from deteriorating by timely and adequate repairs and rest assured that no great damage, demanding costly repairs, will result. Let the health authorities take prompt, quick and effective steps againt the outbreak of epidemics and there will be no epidemics involving mass misery and expensive and extensive remedial measures. Floods and famines must be prevented at all costs, because the havoc and suffering caused by them are often totally unmanageable. Even at the national level, the problems that we are facing today would not have been there if we had acted firmly, promptly and boldly to prevent them. the proverb stresses the need of foresight and precaution in dealing with our troubles and problems. Foresight and precautionary measures are always better and less costly than hindsight and remedial measures.