Woman checking time“A queen is never late. Everyone else is simply early.” – from The Princess Diaries

“Punctuality is the art of guessing how late the other fellow is going to be.” ~ Unknown

When I got to this week’s character trait, I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally we got to one that I’m pretty good at! I tend to operate on the assumption that being on time means five minutes early.

Punctuality is showing high esteem for other people and their time. It’s prompt observance when keeping appointments. Or fulfilling an obligation before or at a previously determined time. Being punctual doesn’t mean pulling into the parking lot on time, but being in my seat ready to listen.

Punctuality requires planning ahead. How long does it take to park and get inside? What if I hit mostly red lights on the way there? Then I pad the time by a few minutes, determine when I need to leave, and try to communicate clearly with the others going with me … followed by frequent reminders that we need to leave in a few minutes!

I’ll admit that my perfectionist tendencies led to a habit of punctuality. (If I was told to be there at such-and-such time, I was.) But I’m learning to see that punctuality is more about the other person than about my meeting expectations.

What about you? Do you tend to be early, on time or usually late? Is being on time more about you or the ones you’re meeting?

Character Matters – Punctuality
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