What chronic lateness communicates

image courtsey internet.
image courtsey internet.

We were planning an event at the International centre Goa. The Program executive told me, doctor, we’ll start at 6pm, that is registration at 6 pm and event at 6pm, by the time people assemble it will 6.30, to keep this schedule, the event was announced at 5.30pm. Some how in my space this seems inauthentic.

To me when people are chronically late they are in the essence of saying that their time is more important that mine.

Being late for an appointment or date seems like a small thing that does not really matter, but it communicates volumes. Whether we mean it or not. Being kept waiting is not an enjoyable experience, at best it wastes time, and at worse it indicates lack of regard. It’s as if we’re saying that our time is more important their time, so we need not honour them by showing up when we said we would. If we are running late particularly if it is more than 10 mnts, the least we could do, is inform the person.

Yet when it comes to people like my mother or Anuja I feel the issue something else since they are chronically late. It is so easy to make excuses, and feel sympathetic at the burden that they are carrying, or experience self pity if we are the Late Latif.  But when we look deeper, we may find that there is such lack of self-regard, as if we aren’t really important anyway. It could also be because the person is much disorganized like my mother is. More seriously what we need to sit up and take note of is, we may not want be there and our way of showing our disinterest or boredom is not by showing up on time.

Somewhere I think even this thing of the event at 6.30 pm but we schedule it an hour earlier to accommodate tardy people is disrespect for ourselves.  As we begin to understand our reasons behind our inability to show up on time, and our acceptance of others appearing late in our space we can address it consciousness, not only will it improve relations, it also improves our self worth.

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