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Be early if you are a bird, but late if you are a worm.

The worm

Be early if you are a bird, but sleep late if you are a worm is the gist of Shel Silverstein’s quote. It was a humorous way of looking at life in another perspective which we usually hear from the sayings of the wise men, “The early bird catches the first worm.” Now, let us dwell deeper on these two simple, yet profound, presentation of the usual cycle of nature but very relevant to us and to our modern times.
The early bird catches the first worm. This proverb entails diligence to get things done and in a manner it is expected to be. At work, we were told that the early employee to go to work is a model employee and the one that finishes the job allocated to him/her is a priced possession of first, the boss and secondly, the company. It seems to be a perfect world where things are done accordingly and the result is almost delivered as expected.

The BirdThe early bird catches the first worm. We were told as well by those who went ahead of us or those who are about to finish their employment that this cycle of things is the way to be, has been and will be. We should start our employment early so that we can retire early. But they never emphasized that fact that we need to be employed between 35 to 40 years in order to enjoy what we worked for, through a pension afterwards.

As a word of caution, nothing is wrong with what was being done by us in the above discussion – that is if you are having the early bird mentality and is contented in catching worms all your life, philosophically speaking. What a way of looking at life. Maybe, like early birds, we are all too busy catching worms all our lives thinking that this is the best way we can enjoy it. But hold on. Let us listen to the story and parallelism of the worm into our life too.

Be late if you are a worm – that is a smart idea. You need not wake up early everyday in your life just to earn a living. There are ways of earning better and avoiding the traffic gridlock on a daily basis in going to the office early in the morning and going home late at night. This cycle is tiring if not irritating. All you need to do is to use the asset you have which is smarter than the computer and richer than the Central Bank – the brain. Be an entrepreneur, make money without a boss above you and print your own money. Easier said than done I know. But there has to be a way. Search for it and once you find it, use it and get the results that you ever wanted,

Be late if you are a worm. This could be applied in our life situation as well. Since you already know what happened to the early worms, you know what to do. In real life, you need not do things fast and quick because you need to have things better than that of your neighbours or friends. You work hard because your system is being eaten up by the materialistic world. Rather than enjoying what you do, you are motivated by the greed of money and desire for material possession. You begin to lose your senses and fails to enjoy best things life can offer which are usually free such as day break in the morning or a majestic sunset with your loved ones during weekends.

Be late if you are a worm. Who said that being second or late has no merits. If not for pioneering works in human endeavours, late bloomers were not able to share their greatness to the world. Remember an Einstein who was told by his elementary grade teacher that he will never amount to anything because he was ‘dumb” or a Thomas Edison as a perennial loser for he kept himself and his business associates broke 9999 times. Until one day, the world woke up with the wonder of Science and the bright light not coming from the moon but from a crystal glass called electric bulb.

Anyway, the reason why the worm was late was that it enjoyed the journey on its way up towards the surface of the earth and was certain that it will never pass the same way again, hence, it savoured every by way, highway and every way possible that in the process, it bored the bird to death and left in haste to look for an early worm instead. After all, being late has its values too. Why not? (Photo credit, Gen Collantes)

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