Punctuality – The Door to Success

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 18-07-2011

An important meeting was being held for the leaders of India’s
independence movement. Eminent persons like Gandhi, Nehru, Tilak, Azad and
Patel were in attendance for chalking out the future strategy to throw out the
British rule from the country. The meeting began, but Tilak could only come to
the meeting five minutes late. Gandhiji stopped the proceedings, looked
intently at Tilak and exclaimed: “If India’s independence from the British rule
will be delayed by five minutes, Tilak will have to take the blame for it.”

Gandhiji was so keen on being punctual everywhere. He was always a
man in a hurry. In contrast, some people, by nature, are always tardy for
everything they attend. They procrastinate with things and as a consequence they
can never meet a deadline or an appointment. This in turn can land them in
trouble, as it affects their performance at every level – education, career,
family, social life, etc. The one who is always late misses on the beginnings
of things and events, which often are the best parts. There are many incidents
of people missing trains and flights because of their compulsive nature of
being late for everything. By being late, he is missing on opportunities for

It is said that the world today moves, not on hours and minutes, but
on seconds and microseconds. Things keep changing in high speed. Payment for
services are calculated by seconds, as for people today time is money and
punctuality is the soul of business. Machinery and means of transport operate
on the basis of perfect time schedule. The delay of even a fraction of a second
can have disastrous consequences. Last year, an airplane was delayed by a
fraction of a second to touch down on the ground and that caused a horrifying
accident that killed nearly two hundred people. 

The virtue of punctuality is both natural and acquired. It is said
that some people can never get late for anything, anywhere. They have a natural
tendency to be punctual, everywhere, at every event. They get restless when,
even if not by their fault, they get delayed for something. However, even if it
is not an inborn quality, one can acquire this virtue by practice, especially
if we start at a young age. One who misses the
deadlines and appointments everywhere is also likely to miss his final
appointment with God when he comes calling him because it is said that God is
always on time.

could never think well of a man's intellectual or moral character, if he was
habitually unfaithful to his appointments.” (Nathanael Emmons). 

About The Author

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP is a Catholic priest of the Society of St Paul. He has been engaged in media activities for several years as General Editor of ST PAULS Mumbai. He believes in God's gift of beauty and goodness in every human being, in nature and in every religious tradition, and shares his views and opinions with others.