I know a historical preservationist in a large city east of me who always maintained that procrastination was his best weapon against developers who wished to tear down historic buildings to erect ticky-tac developments. He argued that it wasn’t that all development was terrible; it was just needful to put the right package into place that was respectful of the structures, history, and community, which took time. He’s been pretty successful, too. You could mount a gallery show of his many successes.
His approach made me take a new look at slower, more deliberative approaches to things. After all, the crown jewel of his efforts easily took twenty years to attain. There was no crash bam; thank you, Mam, rapid-fire solutions involved. That Bullfinch courthouse was not a teetering wreck about to become broken brick, stone, and scree one day and a glittering monument to a community that cared about its history the next.
So, I’ve spent more time thinking about the appropriate pace of things I do. I’m not talking about leaving essential maintenance on the house undone, but I am talking about not rushing to do something just because it can be done.
Someone I knew once put an advanced, newfangled coating on the hull of his boat. Why? Because the salesman convinced him that it would be so smooth that the boat would race through the water. A year later, he had the bottom totally scraped and sanded because the wonder coating had started peeling off. I remember the Cap’n standing there, pipe in hand, shaking his head and muttering, “Sin in haste, repent at leisure.”
So, sometimes, it’s wise to put off things rather than sinning in haste and repenting at leisure.