Time. So effervescent. So fleeting. So priceless. It just gets more and more precious for everyone. Why? Because everything is at its mercy - like the falling orange-peel finding itself aloft in the air and thinking to itself, "Good, provided it lasts."
It won't. Time is a commodity so limited that people are prepared to spend thousands of dollars per hour learning how to save it. But the truth is Time can never be saved. It must be spent. No dam can be built across the flowing rivers of Time. Neither can Time be irrigated from these rivers. All that can be done is to use it wisely. Not a moment should be taken for granted. In a famous non-fiction video-release called Faces of Death, a real, condemned serial murderer was shown being escorted by prison wardens at death row in the U.S. towards a room where he was to be executed. The harsh, echoing footsteps of the wardens can be heard poignantly. The sweat pouring down the prisoner's face is shown close-up. He is then bound to a chair in a small room with no windows. He is to die through gassing. Deadly fumes begin to descend from above. The terrified prisoner takes a deep breath in desperation. "That won't help," says the video commentator.
Frightening, huh? It is. Particularly for those who have not used their time usefully. There was a telling message on a gravestone: "I expected this - but not so soon!" It's always too soon for those who have not been able to spend their time well.
Time is very much like money: what you buy with it is up to you. If you choose, you can spend all your time slaving at the office. Or you can spend it all at the discos, cinemas or watching television. But unlike money and material things, Time is non-refundable. You may return a fur coat and retrieve your money. You may return a watch, camera or pack of biscuits for a refund if you are dissatisfied with the product. But you can't get a refund on Time. You can't get your life back at the time of your death. Not a second of it.
How, where and upon what, then, should a person spend his or her priceless, precious time? Isn't it OK to just spend it where almost every other person does? Where the popular film, music and sport's icons beckon us - eating, drinking, smoking, partying, disco dancing, wearing expensive clothes, buying expensive cars or just working like workaholics at the office from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.? Who will guide us wisely in reply to this vexing question?
Truth lies on the lips of dying men. The so-called living actually live little. Their eyes are wide open, but they see less than the half-open eyes of a person on his deathbed. It is at those last moments that our eyes open widest. Sadly and ironically, wisdom dawns at the sunset of life.
Ask any dying person - a parent, friend, relative or even a person unknown to you where you should spend your Time. All will tell you: balance your work with family, friends, health and self. Spend more time on family, good books, meditation and prayers. Do more social work; do something for the citizens of tomorrow. Or ask yourself the question, "If I was given a chance to live my life over again, how would I live it?" Then start doing that. Another method: Always remember the Sanctity of Time. It is a gift from God. Do not squander it. Time is a gift God has given all His creatures. But human beings have been given the most quality time. Trees have the most quantitatively - thousands of years in some species. But so what? Would you rather be a tree, beast of burden or a human being? Decide.
Now go. You have no time to waste! Utilize every moment wisely. The stop-clock is ticking. You are running shorter and shorter of fuel; shorter and shorter of time. And your workload seems to be increasing day by day.