It is a situation a psychiatrist might well revel in, seeing that it will bring him loads of business! And doctors won’t mind it either! That apart, the term ‘slow and steady’ seems to imply that, if one is fast, one is necessarily unsteady, but that is palpably untrue. There are people who, by nature, do things quickly, and do them better working quickly than working slowly. Everyone who is quick is not like the overconfident hare who goes to sleep because he is way ahead of his opponent—there are people who are fast and keep going that way without causing themselves damage because that is the pace they are most comfortable in. The slow person will always lag behind him, no matter how steady he is.
However, to be fair to the proverb, it is quite all right to say, ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ to someone who is in an excessive hurry. It sounds nice, and the warning just might stick.
There are several similar instances where one can quote the saying in a general kind of way, without splitting hairs or going in for in- depth analysis.
Take the case of Rana who, to excel in the examinations, pops a few unprescribed pills to be able to stay awake through the nights and study. He does brilliantly in the first three papers but, come the fourth, and he is laid out flat on his bed, suffering from some strange complaint! All the brilliance of his first three papers goes to waste. On the other hand, his companion Dilip, who has kept regular hours, fares far less well than Rana in the first three examinations, but at least he does all his papers and passes, and is not marked ‘absent’ like Rana is.
Slow and steady wins the race? One can say it, and no one will object.