“If you are 15 minutes early, you are on time
if you are on time, you are late and
if you are late, you didn’t want to be there”
This topic brings to mind one of the unforgettable experience by former America president, George Washington. One day he asked a man to bring by some horses he was interested in buying at 5am in the morning; the man arrived 15 minutes late. He was told by the stable groom that the general had been waiting there at 5am, but had now moved on to other business, and that he wouldn’t be able to examine the horses again until the following week. What a colossal loss and a very important lesson to learn from this story.
The habit of being prompt extends to everything — meeting friends, paying debts, going to church, reaching and leaving place of business, keeping promises, retiring at night and rising in the morning, going to the lecture and town-meeting, and, indeed, to every relation and act.
The George Anthem goes thus ‘undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise’. For Washington, being on time was a way of showing respect to others, and he expected to be treated with the same level of respect in return.
We may no longer live in an age where we pay attention to punctuality due to the concept of “African time” that has creeped into the fabric of our society; but being punctual is just as important as it ever was. Punctuality is related to discipline and self-mastery, to integrity and respect, it is still an essential component of the character of an upstanding man.
Imagine walking one hour late into a wedding event hall, how would you feel? You certainly will feel like jumping into hell if you’re walking down the aisle with the bride- and you can bet you will be greeted with more than a few angry looks. Punctuality protects us from undue stress and it builds our self-confidence. The importance attached to an event or commitment is based on the priority placed on that event. Although we might not go to etiquette hell for being late for most events; it’s never a good idea to be late for commitments and event because it shows disrespect and doesn’t portray us well In a good light.
Punctuality means arriving or doing things at the appointed time, neither early or late. One of the best way to cultivate punctuality culture is to be clear about the time it will take to get there. Punctuality reveals our level of integrity to commitment. It is good to show up when you say you will show up. Excuses to do otherwise might create a negative impression about you to others and that put your reputation at stake.
Let’s endeavor to place priority on punctuality in all we do because it suggest a sign of respect to others.
Written by Seyi Shoyemi