Can we all agree to be early for places or events where we’re expected?
When I was in high school, I was in band. I played an instrument, I marched in football half-time shows, Saturday afternoon competitions, and Christmas parades.
And I loved it. For real.
One of the biggest lessons I learned throughout grueling summer practices and seemingly endless sectionals was to show up early. It must have been our director’s biggest pet peeve because he was constantly saying,
If you’re early, you’re on time, If you’re on time, you’re late. You should be here, in this band hall, in your seat with your instrument assembled and your music out, and in order to do that you have to be fifteen minutes early AT LEAST.
We were all so scared of his wrath that of all the inevitable disciplinary problems that accompanied overseeing and teaching a large group of teenagers, tardiness was almost never one of them. Thus, punctuality was so deeply ingrained in me, I get a little panicky to this day if I can’t get somewhere at least ten minutes early.
In fact, I find it irrevocably rude when others aren’t where they’re supposed to be on time. I recognize that my utilitarian timeliness standards aren’t a factor motivating everyone, but being late has become synonymous, to me, with inconsideration, rudeness, and laziness. Ain’t nobody got time for tardiness.
A constant penchant for lateness indicates a blatant disregard for anyone else. For example, people drive their most recklessly typically when they are late. What can be more selfish than putting people’s lives in harm’s way because you didn’t do your due diligence? Inconsiderate.
Being early offers so much relief and freedom from stress. Light traffic? Not a problem. Forgot something at home? Turn around, go get it. Road closed? Weather causing a problem? Slow down because you’ve got time. Can’t find a parking place? Need to use the restroom before [whatever you’re doing] begins? You’re early, so go nuts!
Punctuality makes living so much easier! Thanks, band, for teaching me the importance and benefit of showing up early. You’re one of my favorite life lessons.