Families, communities, and nations are strengthened by people who understand the value of time. Each life consists of many increments of time – seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, and years, and people who understand the value of time learn to use it wisely.
Benjamin Franklin knew the value of time and explained its value well: “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”
In another instance Franklin taught that time is money. “`What is the price of that book?’ at length asked a man who had been dawdling for an hour in the front store of Benjamin Franklin’s newspaper establishment. `One dollar,’ replied the clerk. `One dollar,’ echoed the lounger; `can’t you take less than that?’ `One dollar is the price,’ was the answer.
“The would–be purchaser looked over the books on sale awhile longer, and then inquired: `Is Mr. Franklin in?’ `Yes,’ said the clerk. `He is very busy in the press-room.’ `Well, I want to see him,’ persisted the man. The proprietor was called, and the stranger asked: `What is the lowest price, Mr. Franklin, that you can take for that book?’ `One dollar and a quarter,’ was the prompt rejoinder. `One dollar and a quarter! Why, your clerk asked me only a dollar, just now.’ `True,’ said Franklin, `and I could have better afforded to take a dollar than to leave my work.’
“The man seemed surprised; but, wishing to end a parley of his own seeking, he demanded: `Well, come now, tell me your lowest price for this book.’ `One dollar and a half,’ replied Franklin. `One dollar and a half! Why, you offered it yourself for a dollar and a quarter.’ `Yes,’ said Franklin coolly, `and I could better have taken that price then than a dollar and half now.’
“The man silently laid the money on the counter, took his book, and left the store, having received a salutary lesson from a master in the art of transmuting time, at will, into either wealth or wisdom.” (Author Orison Marden)
People who know the value of time and use it wisely can accomplish much by using minutes that would ordinarily be wasted. Many of us look at the clock and think, “There are only a few minutes before I must be such a place or do such a thing;” wise people put those few minutes to good use. In less than ten minutes one could clean out and organize a kitchen drawer or iron a shirt or read a page in a book. Some people have learned new languages by using small amounts of time wisely. Others have written books, just one page at a time. Longfellow translated the Inferno by snatches of ten minutes each day while he waited for his beverage to boil. A person could study any subject for one hour a day and become an expert in that subject in just a few years.
I purchased an extra kitchen timer in order to have one to carry around the house. I often set the timer for fifteen minutes in order to see how far I can get on a needed project. A room can be picked up and tidied in fifteen minutes. A talent can be developed with fifteen minutes of piano practice each day. Fifteen minutes of scripture study can develop a scriptorian. Fifteen minutes of exercise can develop a healthy body. Fifteen minutes spent with a child will make a happy child.
Benjamin Franklin used his time wisely and became a famous statesman, a respected scientist, a printer, and an inventor. We can make our lives more productive and successful by using our time wisely and thus strengthen our families, communities, and nations.