The striking saying is true in our everyday life. It means that a timely action saves a lot of trouble. It is indeed a highly significant metaphor. If a rent in piece of cloth is neglected—it gets wider, bigger an extends rapidly.
It is then a common experience that many stitches are required to mend it where a few would have been sufficient. What is true in this case is equally true in all fields of life. A little is overlooked, delayed and postponed.
A hole at the bottom of a boat, if it is neglected, would sink the boat itself. A small leak in a roof if it is allowed to continue, will disturb the life of the residents under it. Slight cough, if it is not checked immediately would develop into fatal disease.
Do we no find confirmed smokers, drunkards, gamblers and thieves only because no check was placed at the very dark moment? So every evil ought to be nipped in the bud. The first Chinese aggression was overlooked as a petty affair of border dispute. But alas, it developed into monstrous aggression. Thus postponement multiplies trouble : promptness saves them.