A stitch in time saves nine.

from The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli page 12 nonfiction ~1 min read

And it happens with this as the physicians say of consumption, that in the beginning of the illness it is easy to cure and difficult to recognize, but in the progress of time, when it has not been recognized and treated in the beginning, it becomes easy to recognize and difficult to cure. So it happens in affairs of state, because when one recognizes from afar the evils that arise in a state (which is not given but to one who is prudent), they are soon healed; but when they are left to grow because they were not recognized, to the point that everyone recognizes them, there is no longer any remedy for them.[1]

  1. This idea is also mirrored in "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Expuéry. Coincidence? Probably, but still funny nonetheless. ↩︎

—Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, p. 12