This story goes back to the time when India was fighting for independence. Eminent leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Chandra Shekhar Azad, amongst others, would often meet to chalk out future strategies to claim independence from the British. On one such crucial gathering, Tilak happened to arrive late by 10 minutes. Upon his arrival, one man stood up and stopped the meeting. He looked intently at Tilak and exclaimed: “If India’s independence from the British rule will be delayed by ten minutes, Tilak will have to take the blame for it.” Everybody was shocked at this comment but nobody gathered the courage to speak up, knowing how much that man valued punctuality.
Do you know who that man was?
He was none other than the Father of our Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. A pioneer of the satyagraha, Gandhiji instilled the idea of ahimsa (total non-violence) and spearheaded the Indian struggle for independence. But did you know that he was known for his strict adherence to time and punctuality? He believed that being late is stealing another person’s precious time. That’s why he stressed the importance of not wasting a single moment and incorporated it into his philosophy of trusteeship (Gandhiji’s belief that just like how we do not own our wealth but are trustees of it – and hence must use it wisely – similarly we are trustees of our time!) “You may not waste a grain of rice or a scrap of paper, and similarly a minute of your time,” said the Mahatma famously.
Ever wondered why being on time mattered so much to Mahatma Gandhi? Or why there is so much emphasis on punctuality as a hallmark of success? This is because punctuality encourages people to value time. That is why several famous, successful people from many walks of life chart out their day’s work according to time and carry out each task accordingly.
Take a look at the daily schedules of some of the world’s greatest geniuses who, through proper time management and planning, have given us some of the most important works in the history of art and science.
Pretty intense, isn’t it?
If you think that being on time is limited to one’s personal choice, then think again. Certain countries are sticklers for punctuality to such an extent that they view being late as a sign of disrespect! Take the country of Japan, for instance. The country’s high-speed rail network (The Shinkansen) between Tokyo and Osaka has territories that are usually battered by earthquakes. Despite that, their trains run on schedule all the time. If a train arrives more than one minute after it is scheduled to, it is considered late! But punctuality is not restricted to just the trains. Even the people strictly adhere to time and reach 10 to 15 minutes before any meeting. You may say that punctuality is a valued virtue in the life of the Japanese citizen.
We could all take a cue from the Japanese and acknowledge how punctuality plays an important role in our life. It makes us disciplined, teaches us to value not only ours but others’ time too. A punctual person is kind and considerate and is thought of as someone reliable and dependable.
So the next time you lag behind your schedule and think of embracing the procrastination monster, think of all these great personalities who adopted punctuality and made it an essence of their life.
What is your mantra for time-management? Do tell us in the comments below.
Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at [email protected] if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!
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