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Friday, June 7, 2013

Is Being Chronically Late Selfish?

I was pondering lateness recently - since someone used the term 'unfashionably late'.  I ended up with a thought conversation with myself, which I am apt to have going on in my head at any given time.  Here is what it looked like:

Hmmm... UNfashionably late implies there is fashionable lateness.  Well, I guess I qualify for both categories since I'm usually late to things.  Oh well.

What do you mean 'oh well,'?!  Many people consider lateness to be rude, selfish, thoughtless, and disrespectful.

Well, they're just on the Western end of the cultural spectrum.  I just happen to be at the other end.

Hey, don't excuse yourself so easily!  Cultural or not cultural, do you want people judging you by your lateness?

No, I don't.  But it's their problem for being so snooty - and might I add, just a wee bit self-centered too since they imply the late person is so selfish for making them wait?  Because no time is wasted if you have an engaging mind and something to do.  If you're waiting for a late person, that time could be used praying or observing the sunshine or snow and thanking God for it.  The concept of wasted time is really for the un-imaginative soul.

Well, that may be true, but you should probably not add to the judgements heaped upon yourself by being late all the time.

Okay, but now, let's actually consider: Is is selfish to be late?  My answer is NO.  It may be poor planning or scatterbrained-ness but unless you know or have inside knowledge into the late person's heart, it is unfair to label their lateness as selfish.

Why do I say that?  Because while being late may inconvenience others, and this is an oversight on the late person's account, late people in general (at least the ones I know of) are not late because they want the world to revolve around them.  They are not late because they think of self so much.  They are late because they don't plan well.  This does cause others grief and inconvenience.  But it offers the others the opportunity to be gracious and grow in patience and kindness.  And while we're laying blame here, let me add a doozy to the mix.

I believe the Self-Righteous Whiners About Late People are actually guilty of the greater fault.  They judge.  They think of themselves as better, superior, of greater wisdom and kindness than their less-organized friends.  They are guilty of a greater fault: Pride.

Yes, I need to work on lateness. But my lateness has humbled me on more than one occasion.  The 'have-it-all-together' types just don't have opportunities for growth in humility like I do.  So they need to work on their pride.

And now that I have judged them, I guess I'm guilty of pride too.

Ugh.

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