it’s time to be civil (23)


# 14. Respect other people’s time. “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that’s the stuff life is made of.” (Benjamin Franklin) We respect other people’s time when we learn to value it as much as our own. Even better, we can get to a point where we won’t distinguish between our time and the time of others. We then respect time as such – as the precious commodity it is – and act upon this respect in every situation. This does not mean having a constant preoccupation with time. It is possible to make an automatic appreciation of time part of who we are and still go through life at an unhurried pace.

Punctuality is nonnegotiable. Arriving on time is a basic rule of considerate behavior. …

A telephone call is a demand for attention and time that can occur at inconvenient times. Consider opening your calls by asking, “Am I disturbing you?” …

Whether you are in a store or an office, demanding immediate attention is uncivil and ineffective. By waiting your turn you don’t waste the time and energies of those whose job it is to help you. The quality of their work will be better and so will the quality of life of all involved.

Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni (St. Martin’s Press, 2002); pp. 98,99,100

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