I wondered how long this would take to write. I wonder how long this will take to read. Will this article be worth your time? What if it takes me a week to write but three minutes for you to read. If you’ve gotten this far in and decided to stop reading right now I would be grateful and extremely happy because you have given me some of your time and time can not be replaced.

But time is money right? Sorry, I disagree. I understand that quote in a business sense but I think we’ve gotten it a little twisted since Mr. Franklin said it. Time can’t be replaced, money can. Yesterday is history and it can not be replaced. What I’m doing right now with my free time is becoming my history. Time is the most valuable thing we can spend.

I have dedicated a lot of my life to helping others.

  • When someone needs an ear they have mine.
  • When someone is moving into a new house, I don’t jump for joy, but I get mentally prepared to dedicate a whole day or days to help them.
  • A concern from others becomes a concern for me. I can’t solve every problem, and I most certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I can try.
  • I’ve dedicated countless amounts of free time to help my friend have a successful gym.
  • I’ve gone door to door and business to business all because I had the time to do it.

I understand that I don’t have a family to tend to and know that takes up more time than I can even imagine. I used to work in retail management and for those who have, you know that some work weeks can reach upwards of 80 hours. Even then, I still managed to have time to help, listen, and understand people.

Wow, I sound like a great guy right? Greg, time for a hard pill to swallow.

With all the time that I’ve given to others I am still incredibly selfish. I fully understand that you do need time for yourself, rest etc., but even now, I’m thinking about so many meaningless things that I spend time doing that I get nothing from. For example, I’ve spent countless hours on my phone playing video poker. It’s a free game that I literally gain nothing from. What else could I have done with that time? Help someone? Send a text message to an old friend just to say hello? Read a book? Anything! How many of us are guilty of wasting time that can be spent in better, more meaningful ways?

I’m not sharing this to showcase how great I am, rather to help people understand that we only live once and time flies by. We can all acknowledge how fast time goes by and should really consider how we can change how we spend our gift of time. Maybe that means volunteering more. Maybe it means taking your dog for more walks and letting them set the pace because they literally give us all of their time and love everyday. Maybe it means really listening to your loved ones undistracted.

Live in the moment and enjoy nature. Smell the flowers and listen to the birds. It takes two second to say hello to a stranger. They might be shocked but trust me you might just make their day. When you ask someone how their day was, don’t just accept the answer of “okay”, or “good”. Let them know really care about their response. Whether it’s family, a friend, or someone we’re passing in the park we really need to have value in the idea that people who are here today might not be here tomorrow.

Let’s change time as we know it. If you have made it this far I am forever in your debt and I thank you for your time. My closing thought is to spend your time treating everyone with compassion because that moment in time that you share could make a difference.

Author: Greg Poland
The team at Erika’s Lighthouse knows how challenging and difficult this transition is on our teens, educators, parents and others. We are here to help and support our young people. We have launched an exciting new campaign that will provide meaningful, practical resources for teens, educators and parents.