Fred was late for work again.

Maybe even worse, he was out of ideas. Never before had he been on time, and his idea of riding to work on a horse did not succeed.

“What else could there be?” he wondered.

He had tried cars, ships, boats, floats, planes, zeppelins, balloons, trains, walking, running, jogging, jumping, crawling, and (just today) horseback riding. He spent weeks (and quite a fortune) on the perfect riding technique (and horse), but to no avail. With financial resources dwindling (and no promotion), he would have to sell his favourite hot air balloon soon!

Paul was always on time. He knew the secret. He knew that in order to be on time, you needed patience and perseverance. Paul knew himself, he knew his faults, his skills, his vices, and his virtues. He understood that nothing in life is perfect. He did not try to see the error solely in other things and people, like Fred did, but instead realised and accepted certain shortcomings of his (and of others).

Paul was a wise man.

After a few weeks of periodically being on time, Paul was fired. Fred was promoted for his great efforts.

Paul knew. Fred did not.