Despite Society’s Aggression, Slow And Steady Always Wins The Race

By Zile Singh

It does not matter how slowly you go; so long as you do not stop” – Confucius


All of us have studied the short story “The Hare and the Tortoise” meaning that if you work slowly but constantly, you will succeed better than if you work fast for a short while and do not continue towards the goal.  In our daily life also, even a person with average talent can achieve success through persistent efforts in the right direction.  Ceaseless efforts, even at a slow pace will bring good results.  On the other hand, occasional and unsteady efforts, even at a faster pace will seldom bring great results.

Another proverb of a similar nature “Rome was not built in a Day”, means that it takes time for creating important things or doing important tasks.  In other words, ‘Great works cannot be done overnight in a hurry.  Ancient Rome was one of the most splendid cities in the world.  Thousands of artisans put their hard and visionary efforts for several years to build this historic city. Similarly, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, ‘The Taj Mahal’- an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in Agra was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan  in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.   The labour of 22,000 workers took 22 years to construct the monument.

Here are some examples of the importance of this proverb in our daily life:

Work:   At work, it is better to complete the given tasks at a comfortable and steady pace. If you start working in haste, naturally it might lead to a waste. Haste creates confusion and ultimately the main purpose of your work is lost.  Consistent pace reduces tension and worry.  When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things.

Study:   Pace yourself and you will finish your studies with ease.  The syllabus in the schools, colleges and the universities has been devised in such a way that the student can learn the lessons slowly and consistently over a period of time. That is why a day-to-day homework and semester systems are preferred.   A student can overdo and finish the syllabus in a short time, but it can be at the cost of his health and not with the in-depth understanding of the subject material.  By reading one book a month, you would finish 12 books in a year with new insights, ideas and concepts to enrich your life.

Athletics and Fitness Programmes:   Do not overdo your training. Fitness programmes are designed keeping in view certain physical standards.  Overdoing can bring quick results, but the things will fall in the same old level soon. The weight-loss through some unscientific and arduous methods would come back at the same level the sooner you leave that regimen.

Relationships:   In relationships, whether the old or the new, a steady and slow pace is always useful. In old relationships, one has to keep the stream running to keep the relations in good shape.  It should not be a ‘touch and go.’ routine.  In new relationships, one should be patient and wait and your love will become apparent.  The depth in relationships comes only with mature and constant understanding over time.  One day marathon is not an established foundation of long-term relationships.    Quick fixes have drowned many a man and woman into discomfort and unforeseen circumstances.

Saving money:   Keep the habit of savings on at a steady pace.  Save slowly, whatever you can afford.  Savings at the cost of health and designated duties affect badly in the long run.   The small possible saving at regular pace will build up plenty of savings.

Spiritual Life:   Here also, the path is slow and steady.  History is a witness to the fact that no enlightened soul has reached   those heights just in few days with stringent ascetic exercises.   All the sages and saints went through a regular and consistent struggle to understand the meaning of life.  They were the constant travelers on the eternal path.  Some so-called spiritual gurus, who fell asleep on the spiritual journey like the Hare of the story, have doomed their fortune by not keeping a vigilant eye on the worldly temptations like the lust and the greed. Some of them are languishing in jails due to their slumber.

The Tortoise of the story teaches that if you want a step-by-step progress in your life then be consistent and steady.  That will create a momentum.  The momentum will create progress.  The progress creates self-confidence.  The self-confidence starts shaping a new, more resourceful and empowering identity.  And with this new identity comes the ability to create a lasting change in your life.

It is not your speed, but your consistency that makes all the difference. “ Cross your bridge only  when you have come to it”- Tara Estacaan


Mr. Zile Singh is much respected Link Columnist, writer and a Vipassana Meditator. He can be reached at zsnirwal@yahoo.ca .











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