When I was younger, my mother often told me to finish all the rice on the plate and not be wasteful. She told me to imagine that if everyone in the world were to waste one single grain of rice each meal, then billions of grains will be wasted every day. And that is enough to feed quite a sizeable hungry population of the world!!! So waste not.
You might also have been very familiar with or learnt the following poem or nursery rhyme in kindergarten or primary school.
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.
Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
“Sedikit-sedikit, lama-lama jadi bukit” is the Bahasa Malaysia version expressed in a proverb.
I am pretty sure there are poems or proverbs in the other languages which carries the same meaning.