Thursday, May 22, 2008

Haste makes waste

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Haste makes waste

Use specific reasons and examples to support your response.

Being a calm person that likes to take her time to do any tasks, I do agree with the statement “haste makes waste”. Personally, I like it very much when I can focus on one single thing and dedicate to it as much time as I wish. However, I also think that nowadays it is difficult to do that. We have to optimize our use of time because every day we need to be able to handle a lot of things and situations. For this reason, it is becoming more and more difficult to spend a lot of time on one single task. This does not necessarily mean that we are not productive or that we are not doing a nice job, though. It just means that we know that we have to expect realistic results that are compatible with the time we can dedicate to a certain task. I have two examples to illustrate how “haste makes waste” is an old saying that does not fit in our modern reality so much any more.

My first example is about something I had a lot of contact with: University. When we study at University, we usually are very interested in the subjects we take and we want to learn as much as we can. To do so, one would think that it is important to dedicate a long time to study and carefully reading books, articles, newspapers. However, this is not always the best policy. Our teachers load us with great amounts of reading material that will take a long time to read. Sadly, though, most of the students don’t really have so much time to read, because they also need to work and earn enough money to pay for some of their studies. Therefore, it is difficult to find students that read every article or book very carefully and spend a lot of hours on each material. In fact, one of the first skills students learn in college is how to read rapidly and absorb only the main information in the texts. This does not mean that these students are not studying well enough. They are actually being very successful students and show they are putting a lot of effort in their studies.

Once we are out of college, things do not get any better. We always have a very busy life. First of all, we start our career, and then we settle down, get married and have kids. Having a family, though, does not mean that we will stop neither working, nor meeting our friends or socializing with our neighbors and co-workers. All of these aspects, summed to the regular stress we go through to keep our house in order and take care of our kids, make us have a very busy life. This means, once again, that we have to use our time wisely. Of course, it would be nice to spend hours cooking a delicious dinner for the friends that are coming to dinner, but maybe we only have time to order food or keep things simple. Also, who wouldn’t love to have a perfect shiny house? But we can’t spend so many hours every week to vacuum the carpet, sweep and wash the tiles, clean all the windows. Little by little, we learn how to be quick and be content with a clean house that is not shiny, with a nice dinner that is not fancy, with meeting our friends for a couple of hours instead of whole afternoons, and so forth.

Finally, I do believe it is very nice to focus and be able to put a lot of time into something that will come out almost perfect, but I also think this is not possible most of the times. The dynamics of modern life are dictated by rapidity and haste, so that a lot of things can be done by the end of the day. Once again, I don’t think haste makes waste, it just makes us speed and be less perfectionists.

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