Keeping Everything in Step

There’s an ugly, ugly connotation to the word “standardization.” It sounds so clinical, so cold, doesn’t it? It sounds like you’re taking something, and squeezing it, crushing it, cutting it to fit into a mold that it wasn’t initially meant to fit into. It seems like an attack on individuality and uniqueness and consideration.

For me, it’s not. Standardization is actually a tool for consideration.

We’re all connected, like it or not. We all eat, breathe, sleep, and live. And these actions that we do, consciously or unconsciously, affect others. It’s important to keep that in mind, to make sure we don’t overstep our boundaries, to make sure we don’t step on anyone’s toes or block anyone’s path.

Just like space, time has boundaries. Every event has a beginning and an end. If one is truly committed to being considerate, one should have a clear picture of how much time he or she needs for something. Having that clear picture, he or she can then give others an accurate commitment of when something will be done. For many people, making a schedule seems tantamount to an exercise in Nostradamus-like prediction. “You can never can tell,” as one popular joke says. But there are many things within one’s control, and one has the ability to schedule and commit to something to a certain degree.

To increase our ability to exercise control and consideration, a program called Juan Time has been announced. It hopes to address the Filipino malady of “Filipino time,” which is known to make scheduled meetings and engagements begin and end hours late.

I am sure this is not meant to introduce a culture of “zero tolerance,” where when one is late, one is late, mitigating circumstances be damned. But I do applaud the proponent’s appreciation for and desire to instill a culture of professionalism in our country. I also hope that it’s taken seriously enough to make a difference.

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