Imagine if we received a dime for every minute of our life. There are 525,600 minutes in a year so we would make $52,560 every year we were alive. That’s $3.7 Million in an average lifetime. For a majority of Americans this would be considered a great salary.
It seems that we don’t value something as much when we have a lot of it. If you had $3.7 million dollars you wouldn’t think much about spending $100,000 on something you wanted, even if it wasn’t really important. The less money you have the more you think about what you’re spending it on. But put in terms of your lifetime that $100,000 would have been almost two years of your life. Unlike money though, each minute of each day that goes by in your life is gone and can never be gained back. Your life has a limited number of minutes and when they are gone they are gone forever.
A lot of people don’t value their time the same way they value money but the important thing to realize is that time is far more valuable than money. Time is the most valuable commodity a person possesses. It is more precious than money, material things and anything else a person can physically possess. If you only had a year left to live how valuable would your time be then? How much would you pay to spend a day feeling truly, madly and deeply in love? How much would you pay to feel the excitement of a first kiss, or the hand of your newborn baby clutching your finger? How much would you pay to feel the embrace of your lover every night?
When you’re in your 20s and 30s it seems like you have a long time left so it’s not something you give a lot of thought to. You can spend hours and even days doing things that don’t matter or don’t help you in any way. The older you get the more you realize that your time is extremely valuable. Every day that goes by is felt and weighed for the value it brought to your life. Spending a day where nothing helpful happened is a noticeable loss. That’s 1,440 minutes of your shrinking allotment of life gone and irrecoverable.
Now that you can hopefully see how valuable your time is, let’s talk about other people’s time. How much more valuable do you feel it is when someone gives you some of their time? We should all be more appreciative of the time spent on us by someone else. They are spending some of their most valuable possession on you.
Remember if you expect or demand someone’s time you are asking for something extremely valuable to them. If you had a Million dollars would it be right for you to expect or demand money from someone that only had $100,000? I know there are circumstances that could be used to “justify” this simple example but the underlying moral is that the rich shouldn’t take from the poor. Now if you take someone’s time against their will you are stealing some of their most valuable possession. If you think stealing is OK then you can stop reading this now because you’re probably not going to get anything out of it anyhow. If you take someone’s time and don’t return some of your own then it’s the same as borrowing money from somebody and not giving it back. In reality it’s far worse because remember, their time is lost forever. Some people are OK with borrowing and not giving back. When you “borrow” and you don’t return the same value or greater back to the person then you are actually stealing from them.
Every minute you take from someone’s time takes away from their life. You’re stealing precious time from happiness and love. You’re stealing time they could use to learn and grow. You’re stealing time they could spend laughing and smiling. You’re stealing time from them to spend with their children or their friends and family.
Hopefully this has given you a new perspective and respect for not only how valuable your own time is but also how valuable someone else’s is as well. The next time you ask someone to spend time doing something for you, think about what it is you’re taking from them. If you take someone’s time it would be good to have in mind how you will repay them, otherwise, you’re just being a thief.