Sometimes we get careless about our time.
Sometimes we allow it to be lost, to be wasted, to be
squandered like the quarter that we drop and that rolls
into the gutter. How we spend our time is, after
all, a great indication of what we're becoming as human
beings. So much of our time is spent on stuff that
simply doesn't matter, just because someone asked us to do
something that we might not have wanted to do in the first
When I was in the Army, one of the biggest frustrations
that all of us had was that we were not in charge of our
own time. We had literally no control over how we
spent our time--it was decided for us by the drill
sergeants and the commanders and the first sergeants and
anyone else who had any sort of authority. I can't
even begin to consider just how many hours I spent doing
absolutely nothing, standing around waiting, just because
I was told that I had to do so.
Most of us, though, aren't in the military. Most of
us seem to have control over our own time--but few of us
actually use that time wisely, instead allowing others to
dominate it because we're afraid of hurting someone's
feelings, afraid of losing our jobs, or afraid of getting
someone angry at us. But so many of the ways that we
spend our time do so few things to help our fellow people
or ourselves that sometimes it's a shame the ways we waste
time. Why do we spend hours and hours watching TV
shows that we've already seen when we could be doing
something for ourselves or someone else?
We have entire industries whose survival depends on us
being convinced that we should spend our time using their
products, watching their shows, attending their
games. But we have families who would like for us to
spend time with them, friends who could use someone to
talk to, selves that are just dying for some quiet time.
Carl makes an important point. Your time is
yours. Just as you're careful about how you spend
money, you should be careful about how you spend
time. Money? You can earn more of that.