What is a gift of time?

A gift of time! In today’s time deprived world, this might just be the greatest gift of all. With everyone so busy, time becomes the most precious commodity. Bestowing such a gift on others could show how much you care for or love them. You might be poor in terms of money, wealth, material goods but you are as rich as Bill Gates in terms of time. The richest people in the world have no more time than the poorest. In fact, they may have less since they are so busy earning and accumulating money. Think of the many times that you have been blessed by others who share their time with you. Zoos, museums, libraries, food shelters, hospitals and many other organizations all run more effectively due to the time shared by volunteers.

I am particularly fond of an organization called Score: Service Core of Retired Executives. My good friend and ex-boss Lou Schultz donates a large portion of his time each week as do many other retired executives to helping new business owners become successful. Many organizations would not be able to operate without volunteers. Pro-bono is a word that we associate with lawyers giving free service, but anyone of us from carpenters to consultants could give pro-bono time each week.

Each of us has it in our power to give a gift of time both to others and to ourselves. Children, relatives, loved ones and friends might all find your gift of time more meaningful and valuable than anything else you could give them. Can you imagine a Christmas where no presents or money was exchanged? The only gifts that would be exchanged would be gifts of time. It would probably create havoc in the economy. No one would go into debt during Christmas and the mass hysteria associated with the Christmas shopping ritual would be destroyed. Why go into debt when you can make others happier by giving something even more precious than money and something you can get for free? A gift of time is a gift of humanity. It is a gift of yourself.

When was the last time you gave anyone a “gift” of time. How often do you share yourself with others? Can you think of someone whom you could give a gift of time? How does it feel to create this gift and to give it away? What if you gave a gift of time to someone each week? What if you gave yourself a gift of time each week?

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