How Punctual Are You?
By Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.
Punctuality is not a value limited to past ages, nor to certain unique situations. What used to occur with greater frequency and seriousness in the past, remains a human attitude which is still paramount in human relations and a person’s individual behavior.
Although it was more common in the past, especially in the western world, it has also failed many tests among cultures where that was never viewed as a priority in life. For some people, or entire nations, being on time for anything is totally irrelevant; people choose on their own when they arrive for a meeting scheduled for a specific time-frame.
Among certain cultures, if you plan a dinner, a wedding, or some other more formal occurrence, and announce the hour to begin, the invitees make every effort to arrive one hour later and, sometimes, even that turns out to be a bit too early.
I once heard a hilarious definition of punctuality, given by someone born in a nation where such a thing is non-existent, and faithfully observed. That definition suggested that punctuality occurs when two people arrive with the same lateness!
This is similar to what someone, perhaps jokingly, is supposed to have stated: “I once decided to become a procrastinator, but never got around to doing it.” Sadly, far too many have done it and several others are notorious for acting that way in all their affairs!
Yet, the call for action needs to be heeded with a greater sense of urgency. Whatever needs to be done turns out to be more effective when accomplished with dispatch. There’s no need for things to accumulate and later confuse the doer regarding where he or she should start; what activity should deserve priority, in the midst of so much still left undone?
Surveys have reported that persons are much happier when they observe every task before them with seriousness and punctuality; the sooner a responsibility is met, the more shall one have in which to enjoy greater freedom, or move into additional delights within their reach! Contrary-wise, those who are too casual about their use of time, especially of what’s already designated for specific functions, will inevitably suffer unpleasant consequences.
So, don’t wait till the last minute when you already know what is expected of you; instead, apportion your time realistically and well, being always on time for invitations received, commitments made, meetings previously scheduled, regardless of the nature of the event. You’ll be surprised at how much extra time you shall remain, available for other valuable experiences you can also have!