Time, respect, promises, hopes and setbacks.

I have as all of us gone through challenges, to say the least and what I have realized is that what I want and think is not always consistent with what other peoples believe and desire.

In other words, what I perceive as one thing is not always perceived as such by the other party. To explain this, see below:

Time. It’s perishable and when once lost, will never be recovered, never! That said, I have experienced that time is not always perceived equally by all. At 09.00 for me is something different to the other persons. “Let’s have our meeting at 9:00.” I’ll be there at eight fifty-five and the person I’m meeting will, at best, be there a quarter past. In some cases it may take up to 45 minutes, if the person at all, decides to show up. “I’ll call you after I’ve had my coffee, give me an hour.” The person in question calls you two days later. I find it hard to understand and realize how time is perceived especially when people are struggling to keep time. Isn’t one hour equivalent to 60 minutes? Isn’t Thursday the day after Wednesday which is the day after Tuesday? For me trust, is linked to what they say and if you say 09.00 or an hour, this is for me to be there then or reconnect at one time. How hard can it be? One rule I have is that if I say that I’ll be there at a certain time, or respond within a certain time, I always play a little more safe than necessary. I am well ahead at 09.00 and I’ll let you know before the hour has struck to announce that I cannot come at 9:00 or can come back with an answer in an hour. How hard can it be keeping track of time? Again I ask.

  • Respect. This I pair with the above mentioned. To behave carelessly concerning other people’s time, is extremely disrespectful. How I manage my time is one thing, as long as I do not have with to involve others. Respect for others and their environment is of gain, thinking more about oneself and one’s own ego isn’t. The same also applies when it comes to responding to emails or missed calls. To avoid answering, or not to call back when you see who and where it comes from, is also disrespectful. How hard can it be to respect others for what they are and what they do? Respect others in the same way that you want to be respected.
  • Promises. Do not promise more than you can hold, otherwise you will continue to lose the pre-existing trust and respect. To promise anyone anything is fine, however, not being able to keep the promise is disrespectful especially without an explanation. If you are not sure of the facts, you should not promise anything. But as with time and respect, sometimes this is also handled carelessly, that if you fail to fulfil what you promised, usually you tend to defend yourself, saying it’s not so bad because “maybe” you at least tried. What has led me to the word try, a word that I feel so bad about is because many people use it. “I’ll try to be there at nine.” Or “I will try to contact XX.” You either do it or you don’t. Everything else is chatter. The answer to the question “Could you pick up the pen on the floor?” is not “I will try.” Either you pick up your pen or you don’t. To use the word try is for me to escape a task. “I tried, anyway.” When you promise something, use the sentence “I will…..” It’s more affirmative.
  • Hopes. After l have been promised something, taken my time to focus on the task at hand with the utmost respect for my work-peers or clients, I have expectations. With expectations, I will be hopeful and kick start the planning process. Because I had been promised that before a certain day, let’s say Friday, I would receive feedback, I can now take the next step. I am filled with anticipation, with lots of hope in what I have been promised and I look to the future with confidence: Expectations based on the representations of others. It is quite hard to have hopes based on promises made by others.
  • Setbacks. “There is a lot going on right now. So let’s take it on a bit later.” “I had other things I had to attend to.” “There was not enough time.” I can go on with explanations and excuses of why the time promised was not sustained, or to the promised project/work which was so crucial for the other party was not completed. All these are setbacks probably manifested by my own or another person’s expectations or hopes, but based on what was promised. Why does this have to happen?There is a certain undertone of bitterness and personal anger in this piece mainly because it’s a personal reflection. I do stand by them. However, I never cease to be amazed by the carelessness and downright amateurish behaviour I have encountered in the spring of promises, respect and time, that others represent. How hard can it be?Of course, a certain self-criticism arises, because I have made many of the above written mistakes, I realize that I should always practice what I preach and improve on the above topics. Since development requires change, we all need to embrace our mistakes and work harder at making respect (to yourself and others) a no-brainer.

If you may have gone through the above shortcomings courtesy of me, kindly accept my apology. I have learnt to do better with time, gaining a higher degree in wisdom and insight.

So I promise you here and now, I’ll start with myself! How hard can it be?

If you have gone through the above, feel free to leave a comment or simply mail me.

Until next time,