Better Late Than Never

There is an old adage that goes, “Better late than never”. I have heard it and used it often. It reflects a bit of sage wisdom for most people. The idea that it is better to see to a task late, rather than give up and not complete the task at all. It is applicable and appropriate for a myriad of situations. From the lofty ideal that all the things we have aspired to do in our lives, but have yet to complete, are just waiting for us to act. Our dreams are buoyed by this notion that it is never too late to see them come to fruition. To simply explaining our inability to arrive on time to some function or gathering. Insinuating that our presence is more important than our promptness. And a slew of things in between. It is both useful and ubiquitous.

But it is also terribly flawed in its thinking. The adage presumes that being late is an untimed option. But with our frail existence, our ‘never’ can be just around the corner. We are promised no time in our lives and ‘never’ can become ‘now’ in any moment. Being late is a luxury left to those who believe they know when their time will run out. Yet, none of us do. Poorly timed, procrastination can easily become the never being done.

This becomes doubly true when you are talking about our relationships with other people. Now the equation holds two factors with an unknown amount of time. Being too late can happen with the demise of either party. Things left unsaid can just as easily be left unheard, as they are left unspoken. We do not have the luxury of procrastination in letting those we care about know how we feel. Soon, later, and eventually do not exist in the light of our un-promised existence. Millions of opportunities have died with the thought that we have more time. Regret for the things left unsaid is a permanence, with no way to turn back the clock and right our wrongs. If you are wrestling with something that should have been said years ago, ‘better late than never’ reminds us that we still have the opportunity. It helps us to recognize that the passage of time bears no effect on the necessity of speaking our truth before the ‘never’ comes. But it also makes us think that the opportunity will always be there, and that is never true. The opportunity can vanish in an instant.

When it comes to sharing our feelings with others, the real truth is ‘better now than never’, because the now is all we are promised. The hope that we have more time is fine, if you can live with all the things you had hoped to say but never did because you thought you had more time.

We must say and do those things of great importance without procrastination. We must consistently let the people we care about know what is in our hearts. Good or bad, neither is worse than the not knowing. Express yourself now and use the time you have left to revel or heal. Do not let the passing of an opportunity be what decides your accomplishments. Act now and decide for yourself not to be too late. You will reap the benefits of owning the only moment you are promised.

Comments
5 Responses to “Better Late Than Never”
  1. meenawalia says:

    Very true.comminication is very important.I wanted to tell my father sorry for dirtying the house in his absence but got a bit upset with him for rebuking me and let him go to the office without even wishing him bye.And when he returned,he got a massive heart attack and regret till now how I wasted my time instead of spending it with him

  2. Jim Borden says:

    great post, Brad. makes me think twice about those things that I’ve labeled “I’ll get to that later.”

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Even though I am highly attuned to the impermanence that is our lives, I probably have a list like that too. Let’s endeavor to cross one thing off that list this week. Thanks for your comment and constant support!

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