Bill Learns a Valuable Life Lesson
- Punctuality -

As a young man, I was terribly interested in young women! (So what else is new?) I was also conducting the Baptist Student Union (BSU) choir which met each week for a rehearsal. As it turns out, I often found myself enjoying a "date" before the rehearsal. In addition, I might not arrive at the "rehearsal time" early (or even on time.) If the rehearsal (that I scheduled) was at 7:15 PM I might arrive at 7:30.

After one such "late start" for the rehearsal, one of the singers, Norman Vinson, came up to me following the conclusion of the choir rehearsal. He said. "Bill, could I buy you a 'Coke?'" I was flattered that he wanted to spend some time with me, and I readily agreed. We left the rehearsal venue and headed for a "drive-through" and ordered 2 cokes.

Norman then said, "Bill, you have many attributes which I admire" and before I could say "thank you" he continued, "but there is one which I cannot abide. AND if it continues, you will no longer be my friend." (This was long before one could be "friends" on FaceBook, etc.)

I asked (probably knowing exactly what was coming) "What is the problem?"

Norman looked me directly in my eyes and answered, "You are a thief, and I do not associate with thieves." He then said, "You schedule a rehearsal at 7:15 and we all are there, but you don't arrive until 7:30. There are 60 of us, and that is 60 times 15 minutes. You have just stolen 900 minutes of our collective time and you can never repay these minutes. If you don't change this part of your behavior, I will no longer associate with you because I do not associate with thieves."

YIKES! I had never been accused of being a thief before, but I knew that he was right. I vowed that from that day forward, I would do my very best not to steal time from anyone. Thank you, Norman Vinson. Although I never saw Norman after I graduated from University of Kentucky, I am forever grateful to him and always try to be conscious of the valuable time of others. Am I paranoid? ABSOLUTELY!!

Norman Vinson
Norman Vinson

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