I recently watched a special about time, where physicists discussed how, in time, both past and present always exist; that time is fixed, and we move through time. It was very interesting on a sort of esoteric level, but time for me is not some abstraction – it is minutes, hours, days and years. I only get so many, and obligations, expectations and necessity claim the majority.
Not complaining… it is what it is. That does not mean we should not be ferocious in our desire to manage our time. First, it takes time to provide for our families, but then they deserve and need quality time, too. Not just for their needs, but our own – because you cannot recapture what passes. Just ask any grandparent who has time to experience the joy of watching the grandchildren growing up, instead of using that time to manage the process, as experienced by most parents.
Of course, it is usually as young parents that we developed the habit of not allowing time for ourselves. We need time for rest, inspiration, and yes to be loved and cared for. If we could find balance between work, family and self, that would be a splendid achievement. Sadly, if that were where we stopped, we would all live in a much more difficult and challenging world. We would live in a world where people had no time for their community—their society.
So we are fortunate to live in a country where, from our founding, being a good citizen meant being involved. We are the beneficiaries of generations of individual commitments to the greater good. Sadly, today, it seems we have lost a shared sense of greater good, as our media reflects more arguing and blaming than shared effort on community need. The good news is we still have the ability to determine our future, as long as we do not believe that is someone else’s responsibility.
I appreciate the sense that fewer people want to get involved, that it always seems to fall to the same few. I know the challenge that people face in finding time to give beyond work, family and self. For those of us who have – our challenge is to make that time of true value. Let us be diligent, even savage in our efforts to see that time given is time of real value – equal to the value of time taken from work or family.
Focus Sertoma time on planning, working on or celebrating positive change in your community. That alone will address the issue of “I don’t have the time” and make people feel that, for this “I can make time.”