September 18
Time is the coin of your life.  It is the
only coin you have, and only you can
determine how it will be spent.  Be careful
lest you let other people spend it for you.

Carl Sandberg


Today's Meditation:

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 place.

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.  But time?

Questions to consider:

Why do we tend not to consider carefully how we spend our time?  Why do we just "let" things happen?

In which ways could you make sure that you're spending most of your time wisely, in ways that are helpful to yourself and others?

How many people try to convince us that our time is best spent serving them and their purposes?  Why do they do this?

For further thought:
How you spend your time is more important
than how you spend your money.
Money mistakes can be corrected,
but time is gone forever.

David Norris

More on time.


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