Sat | Oct 16, 2021

Respect others' time

Published:Saturday | April 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

Jamaicans need to start respecting time - their own and that of others. The old joke about events starting 'Jamaican time' has lost its charm. There's a trend emerging where events are planned, invitations sent out, then the events are cancelled, and only a few people are notified.

That happened to me twice in one week recently. The first occurrence was an event sponsored by an organisation of pure-bred dog enthusiasts in Kingston. I was invited to enter my dogs in their April 11 dog show. After rearranging my schedule so that I could attend the event, paying my entry fee, and driving into Kingston with my dogs, all the while praying and hoping that a dogfight wouldn't erupt on the backseat of my car as I drove to the showgrounds, I arrived only to hear that the show was postponed. I was not notified of this change beforehand.

The other event was held under the auspices of an organisation of professional educators. Again, I had to move all my Saturday morning classes so that I could attend this very important workshop that I felt would help me in my profession and ultimately benefit my students. And once again, I showed up only to be informed that the workshop was cancelled. Once again, I was not notified of this change beforehand.

Both organisations have my email address and phone numbers. Days after the dog show that didn't happen, the pure-bred dog club had the audacity to send me another invitation to enter my dogs in their May 16 show.


It is inconsiderate of organisations to cancel events without providing adequate notice, and it is a great inconvenience to the public too. When organisations proceed in this manner, they alienate the public and betray their trust. All too often leaders of organisations scratch their heads and wonder why Jamaicans show no interest in what they have to offer. The reason is very simple: people are busy and do not have time to waste. If time is money, as the saying goes, it's no wonder we're all broke.

We may, as individual Jamaicans, have no control over certain aspects of life in Jamaica, like the economy, but we do have control over our actions, and it is each person's responsibility to ensure that their actions reflect simple social courtesies and respect other peoples' time. By exercising simple courtesies like starting events on time and communicating when events have to be postponed or cancelled, we will practise the long-forgotten golden rule, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you', and we'll also start to see a trend towards order and discipline which this society sorely needs if it hopes to move forward; and we will see excellence pervading much of our society once more.

I am, etc.,


Kingston 8