Punctuality: Time Management and Cardinal Virtue
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Punctuality is the habit of doing things promptly at the proper time. It must be considered a cardinal virtue because of its beneficial fruits, and also because of the harmful effects a lack of it can produce. In most enterprises, punctuality is the key to success. Procrastination, the vice opposite to punctuality, can bring nothing but failure. Often it brings ruin and disaster. A student, for instance who comes late for an examination may not be able to write that examination at all. Failure and the loss of a year may be the result. A business man who is late for an important conference risks the danger of missing an opportunity to expand his business or to secure highly profitable business orders or contracts. A farmer who fails to sow his field at the right time cannot hope to have a good crop. And if he fails to reap the field in time, he may suffer the loss of even the small crop he has. Being punctual is not a burden. When we begin and finish our work punctually we feel great mental satisfaction. We also get plenty of time relax, or to play, or to enjoy leisurely activities. Punctuality benefits not only the individual concerned, but also other members of society.
On the other hand, lack of punctuality on the part of a single individual may cause much harm to many other persons. If the driver of a bus or a train, or the pilot of a plane, should be unpunctual, he is sure to inconvenience all his passengers. Some of them may even suffer heavy financial or other losses because they don’t arrive at their destinations at the expected time. If the rulers or the military commanders of a country should fail to take precautionary defensive measure in time, that country runs the risk of being attacked and subjugated or humiliated by a more alert enemy country. It is imperative that children should be trained in punctuality so that they may acquire this very important virtue at an early age. This is necessary for them, and for society as a whole.