Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.

Rule #22: Don’t make others late (Dad)

Sometimes I can be a bit uptight, rigid even, about time.

What I have come to accept is that we all see, treat, and experience time differently. And. That. Is. OK. Still, as flexible and chill as I have become, some advice:

Don’t create time crises for others.

One of my favorite quotes is, “A lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” Asking for help is fine, but don’t become that person who is always asking in a frenzied panic for others to bail them out at the last minute. Don’t stifle your creativity, but if that creativity is experienced as a disregard for those around you, you will quickly find yourself on your own.

Honor the time others have carved out.

There are people in my life who are always late. I usually roll with it, but generally I think consistent tardiness is disrespectful. If someone has made time for you, honor that gift by being on time or at least letting them know if you are running behind.

Appreciate how others experience time.

Intellectually I understand that not everyone operates with the same internal timekeeper. Of course truly appreciating that fact is a daily struggle. But I’ve learned my own rigidity can be unproductive, and I’ve had to let go of my assumptions about time in order to see a world that moves forward at different paces. And ultimately that is the most important thing.

So don’t be rigid about time and timeliness, but live in ways that honor others and the time that we have.

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