(Minghui.org) Whenever I arrange to meet someone, I try to be on time. When I manage my time well it makes me feel good about myself. 

But when I'm a little late, others don't seem to mind much. After a while, I stopped being concerned if I was late and thought that, as long as I arrived within five minutes of the agreed time, it would be okay.

An elderly practitioner once became upset with me because I was five minutes late. I didn't think it was a big deal, until she said, “Do you think you are being 'truthful' when you're five minutes late?”

I didn't know what to say. I realized that it was my laziness and selfishness that was causing this gap in my cultivation. When I make a promise, I have to keep it, otherwise I'm not being truthful. I shouldn't think that it is less important just because it seems to be a small matter.

Several practitioners thought that being 10 or 20 minutes late was fine, and they would make all kinds of excuses as to why they were late. One said that he didn't realize what time it was, another stopped to buy something, and one said that they had stopped to talk to a friend.

A practitioner once said she planned to come to my home at noon, but didn't show up until about 4:00 p.m. When I asked why she was so late, her response was: “You were at home anyway and you can do other things, so it's not a big deal that I was a couple of hours late.”

She didn't think that I might have also made plans.

One practitioner sometimes didn't even show up, and it didn't seem to bother her when other practitioners no longer trusted her.

I’m sure everyone knows about the stress of waiting for others. If we really put others first then we wouldn't make them wait for us.

If we don't care about being punctual, doesn't that show that we are selfish and that we are only thinking of ourselves?

We should pay attention to keeping our promises. No matter how big or small, if we say that we are going to do something, then we should do it. This is not only being responsible to others but also being responsible for our own cultivation.