A wise man seeks wisdom. Where does he find it, but in other, wiser men? And what is a more effective way to impart wisdom than by illustration? There is none. And here is one by one, wise man:
You are stuck in the wilderness. Alone, and without shelter. Perhaps your vehicle broke down on the trail you travelled on. Perhaps you were knocked off a bus of migrant workers. This detail is of no matter. But the nearest civilization is impossible to reach. There is, however, a hope that someone will come to find you. Until then you must wait. But an axe you have in hand, and two arms to wield it. The wilderness is plain, barren except for a small clump of bamboo. Bamboo, however, makes a poor material to form a great shelter. What to do?
Now you have a choice. Do you cut down the bamboo and use it to make a shelter? Or is this action too much work for the benefit… But it could be days before you are found. Do you search and search for a better material? Cedar, perhaps? There may be some down the road… But there is no way to tell and you would be distancing yourself from the available bamboo if you were to search it out.
The object is this: Work with what you have, with what you find. Do all that you can do, and do it all the best you can do it. Linger not, long for not. Waste time not for what is not there.
What is present is useful. What is absent is not meant to be.
Take what is present at the present time.
What is absent can wait.