Assalamualaikum wr. wb.
Several days ago, I had this small yet precious talk with a friend of mine. He's one of those inspiring people I've met on earth, haha. So we sat there at the lobby of our university's Faculty of Law, waiting for other people to come as we were going to have a meeting. For Indonesians, 15 to 30 minutes late for an appointment is considered usual. I know, it's such a pain in the neck, especially for those who value punctuality.
15 minutes passed and no additional person came to the meeting. I and this guy then started to talk about how bad this matter really is. I started to say that our environment really affects our behavior, including this matter of being on time. I started saying how I used to be quite punctual (not always, especially on morning classes, I admit that) when I was in Japan since I knew exactly when the school bus will come, how much time it would take, etc. My environment really did encourage and discipline me to be more punctual.
However, as the Indonesians might know, our public transportation schedules are far from reliable. Some do not even have a schedule. I personally think that it affects us in a way that people wouldn't know and wouldn't be able to plan better for their daily activities. We might think that the train will come at, say, 10.00 am since yesterday it did, but the day after, it comes at 10.15 and we will waste our time waiting at the train station for 15 minutes and also come late for a meeting or whatever schedule we might have on our activities list. It's frustrating, don't you think? I started ranting about this issue to my friend but then he told me that it's not always the case. We can actually make it better if the drive comes from ourselves. And... I thought he was right.
He made some points which made me think that the urge to change will be stronger if it comes from within ourselves. And of course, greater efforts are needed for greater results. It is not easy to discipline ourselves, try to catch the train or any public transportation a lot earlier since we don't know what will happen with the schedule. He also gave me some point on which he said that we could always use the extra time we'd have when we come early for something beneficial, like reading books, articles, or anything that will give more content to ourselves. There will be no more coming late, which might result in wasting other people's time, and no more wasting our own time. Well, he was totally right.
So now I think I need to stop complaining about how awful my environment is and start thinking about how to make it better, and the answer would be to first make myself better. It's a tough task as conquering ourselves is much harder than conquering others. But before we expect others to change, let's try to change ourselves for the better. So, let's make the changes we want to see :)
Wassalamualaikum wr. wb.