THE TIME TO REPAIR THE ROOF IS WHEN THE SUN IS SHINING

  • Nothing lasts forever, neither the good times nor the bad times.
  • Therefore, over centuries, numerous ancient texts and philosophers have advised people to prepare for the inevitable downturn, while enjoying the present upturn.
  • For instance, Christine Lagarde, the former chief and managing director of the IMF and current president of the European Central Bank, referred to this advice when she said, “the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”, during her speech at Harvard University in 2017.

Original quote:

  • The quote was originally said by the United States’ President John F Kennedy more than six decades ago.
  • The full quote: Moreover — pleasant as it may be to bask in the warmth of recovery — let us not forget that we have suffered three recessions in the last seven years. The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining by filling three basic gaps in our anti-recession protection.

Meaning of the quote

  • Simply put, the quote underlines the importance of timely action to avoid the worst possible outcomes when things go downhill.
  • Good times don’t mean that one should just sit back and enjoy the moment, waiting for the next crisis to happen.
  • It’s better to see such moments as an opportunity to make reforms or fix what’s broken to prepare for tougher times.

Where can it be used?

  • Apart from signalling the need for preparedness in general in life, one use can be in the context of climate change.
  • To avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis in the future one must repair the roof when the sun is shining.
  • In its 2022 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stressed on stronger action in the near term in a bid to restrict temperature rise to within 1.5 degree Celsius from pre-industrial times.
  • The quote can also be used to emphasise the need for planning for retirement.
  • It could mean investing in different government schemes such as National Pension Scheme (NPS) and Public Provident Fund (PPF) at a young age to ensure a secure future after one retires.

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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