Better Late Than Never

This morning, I was getting ready to attend the Tiruppavai Upanyasam by Dr Sudha Seshayyan at the Bharath Kalachar.  When I informed my mother that I’m leaving for the same, she asked me “Aren’t you late?” and my response was “Yes, but its better that I attend this although late than give it a miss”

And something happened yesterday on the same lines.  My elder son was tired after coming back from school and wanted to be dropped for the special coaching classes that he attends.  And as we were going to the venue, he was wondering whether he would be late for the class and I reassured him with the same phrase “Better Late Than Never”

If we take a deeper look at this phrase, it uncovers a basic trait in most human beings.  I am reminded of the statement that Dr Sudha Seshayyan made a few days back about “discouraged perfectionists” which is reflecting our attitude towards most things.  She referred to people who want to do everything perfectly and are still waiting for the right moment to even get started.

I saw this being mirrored in the two events mentioned above because the feeling is let’s do the best and otherwise not do it at all.  While I am all for giving the best (incidentally the crux of my earlier post on Bhagawath Geetha), I see that there are occasions where it may not be possible.  In such situations, it is, imo, critical that we do whatever we can rather than abstain on the pretext that we cannot give our best.

When I follow-up with my customers who have bought Enrich, the personal finance software  and query them on their usage, I get the stock answer “I wanted to start on 1st of this month but somehow could not and hence will start doing it on the 1st of next month” and this is on the 3rd of the month.  As if they are going to remember about this correctly and start using  from the first of the next month. If I call them on the 2nd of the next month, it is very likely that i will get the same answer or worse “What is Enrich?” because they would have forgotten having bought the software.  I would urge them to start doing whatever they want to do even if it is late because “Better Late Than Never”

Many projects remain at the drawing board stage because people are waiting for the right moment. I know friends of mine who have an inner urge to start on their own but are waiting for the right day, which may not arrive.  Nothing can be more harmful to an individual than a regret of “I could have done” and that stems from the desire to do everything the right way than just get started and sort it as we go along.

There is a beautiful Tamizh verse “Onre Seiga, Adhai nanre seiga, Adhaiyum Indre Seiga” which roughly translates to “Do one thing, do it well and do it Today”.  What is implicit in the today is “don’t wait for a better tomorrow” because tomorrow can be worse than today and “who knows if we will be alive and kicking tomorrow like we are at the present moment?”

So even if it is late (or not the best of times), let us get on with it than give it up hoping for a better time.




  1. Ramani said,

    December 24, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Late arrival should be slammed – A Teacher’s point of view
    Late arrival should not be tolerated – A listener at a concert
    Late arrival should be discouraged – A parent taking the kid to school
    Late arrival can be tolerated – if you had a medical emergency

  2. Murali said,

    December 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm


    If you remember, recently we discussed a long pending project that I keep on telling you would be done this year and so! When I read this, feel guilty of not attempting that. Hope I am on my mark to get set and go in 2012. Thanks for the link!


    • badrirag said,

      December 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm


      I am looking forward to it in early 2012.


  3. Devaraj Iyer said,

    December 25, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Dear Badri,
    A nice message. Good for those of us who hide behind ‘now or never’ to cover our complacence. surely applicable for non-binary situations.


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