Punctuality is considered to be the noblest of virtues. It is the mark of civilized and cultured people. It is the habit of doing things in correct time. ‘A stitch in time saves nine’, so says an English proverb. Doing things in time, thus, saves us from unnecessary troubles. That is exactly what punctuality is all about.
One of the great values of punctuality is that it gives discipline to life. We have to get up in time. We have to do things at the appointed time. All these entail certain amount of sacrifice. It dispels laziness and removes our ‘take-it-easy- attitude’. A disciplined person always gets recognition and social acceptance. He is wanted and appreciated. Therefore, punctuality can make us socially acceptable people.
Another significant merit of punctuality is that it provides ample time to do our work correctly and properly. Doing things hurriedly or haphazardly can have disastrous consequences. When we do things in time there is every chance that they end up as fine works.
In fact, a punctual man, however busy or engaged, finds time for more work still. On the contrary, an unpunctual man, far from doing much, cannot finish his normal duties even. So the virtue of punctuality makes all our activities and works good and satisfactory, if not perfect and excellent. Besides, it teaches us the habit of doing things correctly and in proper time.
The virtue of punctuality is said to be the key to success. Look at the great world leaders who have achieved fame and success. Punctuality was their hallmark. They kept their promises. Punctuality is a virtue that is appreciated by all. Washington once took his secretary to task for being late. The secretary laid the blame upon his watch. Washington reported: “Then, Sir either you must get a new watch or I must get a new secretary.” People like them are ideals whom we should follow in earnest.
When individuals are not punctual they cause a lot of inconvenience to others. People have to wait for them and waste their valuable time. Want of punctuality reveals want of culture and is discourteous to the person we fail.
Unpunctuality invites trouble and worry. History is full of cases which show that lack of punctuality has caused defeat, loss of kingdom and golden opportunities. It is said that Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo in 1815 because one of his generals came late. Many people lose good opportunities of job or promotion when they reach late for appointment.
All of us are not born with the virtue of punctuality. We have to cultivate it painstakingly. Only constant vigil and practice can implant this virtue.
It calls for great deal of sacrifice. It calls for courage to root out laziness and the ‘take-it-easy-attitude’. It demands a disciplined life. That is why; very few individuals have the virtue of punctuality. But, know it for certain that it is the surest way to success.