• I just read that Bill Clinton showed up more than an hour late for a colleague's book signing last week. More than an hour. Of course, his tardiness is legendary. Everyone seems to accept it. My only question is why?

    What if a foreign official showed up an hour late to meet him? What would he do? Something tells me he wouldn't tolerate it — nor should he.

    I'm not here to pick on the former president, but to bring up a very current beef: I hate people who are late. And I really hate people who are really late.

    Look, I can understand a stuck train or an emergency. And, to be fair to Clinton, a lot of his legendary lateness was and is the result of his desire to meet and greet everyone in a room.

    To a degree, that's admirable. But forgetting other people's feelings and obligations, is not. You're all but telling them, "My schedule means more than your schedule."

    It's insulting and it's rude, especially when "other" people have all gathered in a room to see you.

    They have lives and events and schedules and appointments.

    They have kids and soccer games and recitals.

    They're juggling. You juggle.

    It's as inexcusable as the plane that's constantly delayed with no reason given or the store manager who promises to get right back to you, but doesn't.

    I don't care who you are: Your word is your bond. Your commitment is your clock.

    And I think societies slip when their commitments slip: the cable guy who doesn't show, the contractor who doesn't call, the ex-president who doesn't care.

    They're all in need of two things: a heart and something else, a watch.

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