Lost in most modern communication is understanding of the supreme importance of graceful timing: there is most certainly the right time to write to someone, to speak with someone, or to act on someone’s behalf. Usually, we feel this because we surmise that such a one to whom we wrote or with whom we had anticipated speaking has undeniably missed the mark–by a good long shot.
And how does it feel when the other misses the mark? Often enough awful. This “missing the mark” very quickly erodes trust, and it implies that care is not the mainstay of the relationship. This intuition, an accurate one here, gives the lie to whatever is said in person or in written form.
And how does it feel when the other so adroitly and so frequently hits the mark? So wonderful, so graceful, so easy! It’s clear to you that he or she can be trusted (at least this is your current impression and so far it’s not wrong) and that care flows like water in the relationship.
In all this, you might say that the aesthetic is rightly suffusing and supporting the ethical: good timing is the way that genuine care gracefully discloses itself. (I’m coming back to a subject I wrote about at great length in 2012.)
It’s therefore surprising to me that precious little is written about the graceful art of good timing with regard to our relationships with one another and even less is it understood or actually lived.
If you want a simple way to gauge the vibrancy of your relationships, just see how well-timed your actions–and theirs–are. If too late and too soon are the words that keep coming to mind, then see that this relationship is living on borrowed time.