Time is the Most Beautiful Gift You Can Give
It’s important to value when your friends give you their time, because they’re giving you something that they’ll never get back. In doing so, they’re telling you that they love you, they value you, and they enjoy your company.
However, you should understand the difference between someone who gives you their free time, and someone who creates free time to be with you. You can’t give them the same value, even when both situations are touching and deserving of gratitude.
It’s really wonderful when someone who has a really busy schedule puts their obligations on pause to spend time with you or listen to you talk about your life. These moments are worth cherishing because they’re shared with people who give you their affection and who want to speak the language of emotions.
How much is an hour of your time worth?
Night had already fallen, but the little boy made a huge effort to stay awake. His reason was a worthy one; he was waiting for his father. His mischievous eyelids were drooping heavily when the door opened.
Boy: “Dad, can I ask you a question?
Father: “Yes, of course. What is it?”
Boy: “How much money do you make in an hour?” – he asked with his eyes wide open.
His father, tired and irritated, was very short in his response.
Father: “That’s none of your business. Why did you ask me such a thing?”
Boy: “I just want to know, please tell me, how much do you make in an hour?”
Father: “$100 an hour,” he answered, annoyed.
Boy: “Oh.” – The boy sadly lowered his head… “Dad, can I borrow $50?”
The father became furious: “If the only reason you want to know how much I make is to ask for some money to buy a foolish toy, then stay in your room, don’t leave, and think about why you’re being so selfish. I work hard every day, only to deal with this childish behavior.”
The boy silently closed the door of his room. The man sat down and started to get even more angry over the boy’s question. How dare he ask such questions just to get a little money?
After an hour or so, the man calmed down and started to think. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $50. After all, the boy didn’t ask for money very often. So he approached the boy’s door and opened it.
Father: “Are you sleeping, son?”
Boy: “No, Dad, I’m awake.”
Father: “I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you. It’s been a long day, and I took out my frustration on you. Here’s the $50 you asked me for…” – the boy straightened up, smiling.
Boy: “Oh, thanks, Dad!” he said as he reached his little hand under his pillow and took out a handful of coins.
Then, he rose and grabbed some more coins and wrinkled bills from under the pillow. The man saw that the boy already had money, and he started to get angry again. The boy slowly counted his money and then looked at his father.
Father: “Why do you want more money if you already have so much?”
Boy: “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do.” – he answered enthusiastically. “Dad, now I have $100. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please, come home early tomorrow, I want to have dinner with you.”
The father was distraught. He put his arms around his little boy and begged him for forgiveness.
The best emotional gift: the investment of your time
Never forget that the best investment you can make will always be the time you dedicate to your family and friends. Sadly, we only realize this when it’s too late and we’ve lost the chance to give this gift to the people around us.
If you die tomorrow, there will soon be someone to take your place at work. However, the family and friends you leave behind won’t be able to fill that emotional empty space that your disappearance will create. So it’s clear that there’s no time more valuable than the time you spend with your loved ones.
Stay with the people who value you, who hug you, who don’t lie to you, and who can make you feel without touching you. Dedicate time to the people who deserve it and who make you feel good. The people who love you will show it sooner or later. Don’t forget to set your stress and obligations aside and take care of them like there’s no tomorrow.