Why Are You Always Late?

If Judaism promotes punctuality...

Rabbi Aron Moss,

Judaism לבן ריק
לבן ריק
Arutz 7
Question:
I have a friend who is never on time for any social arrangement (and is often very late), but is otherwise a great guy. I am so frustrated by it that it is affecting our friendship. Does our sensible religion have something to say on why it is wrong and disrespectful to others to be late? I suspect that if Judaism promotes punctuality, he might lift his game.

Answer:
The Kabbalah teaches that people come under two personality types: chessed or gevurah.
 
A chessed type is someone who is very giving and outward, generous and expressive. They are easygoing, spontaneous and free-flowing.
 
A gevurah type is more inward and disciplined, controlled and contained. They are focused, predictable and dependable.
 
Neither type is innately better than the other; there are advantages and disadvantages to both. A gevurah person can organize a party. A chessed person will be the life of it. A gevurah person writes shopping lists. A chessed person loses them.
 
When they work together, a chessed person and a gevurah person make a great team.
A gevurah type is always on time. A chessed type never is.
Their opposite talents compliment each other and the one's strengths compensate for the other's weaknesses. But when it comes to time management, these two types clash. A gevurah type is always on time. A chessed type never is.
 
Your friend is probably quite a chessed type. He may find it very hard to restrict himself in order to be on time. It may go against his very nature. This is not an excuse, just an explanation. Asking a chessed person to be on time is like asking a gevurah person to chill out a little - it's not so simple. We can't just change our nature.
 
But we can always change our behaviour. If your friend would contemplate on the fact that someone else is being inconvenienced by his lateness, he may be able to overcome it. We all have our natures, some tend towards chessed, others towards gevurah. But we can all transcend our nature by becoming more mindful of the needs of others, rather than being stuck in our own instinctive patterns.

Indeed, your friend seems to be a chessed person, and his challenge is to work on his gevurah - to discipline himself and get there on time. But you have a challenge, too. You sound like a gevurah person. Have a bit more chessed and go easy on him!




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