Do you have time?

“Do you have time?” How often are you asked that question? Have you ever really thought about what it means? Of course, you say “I know what it means.” However, do you really? When people ask you if you have time, are you being asked for space, for a priority, for help, for support, for money or something else? What is it that they want your time for? In some respects, it is a silly question, since of course you have time. The real question is do you have time for them. Even more to the point, is the issue of whether your priorities and expectations match up with their priorities and expectations? Do you have time to walk their dog? Do you have time to help them with their report? Do you have time to watch their children?

We are asked this question many times a week. What goes into your decision to “make” time for others? Do you make time for people you really like or for people who you think have influence over you? Whether or not we have time will often depend on how important something is to us or how important we view our relationship with the person asking for our time. We are all very busy people, but we will take the time to help those we really care about or if the issue is something we are very interested in. The answer “no, I don’t have the time” more likely means that it is not important or interesting to me. The time I am willing to give to others can have a very ego-centric aspect to it. I give time not because I have it but because I want to. Of course, at work, if my boss asks me, I will probably have time since I want to keep my job.

Who do you really make time for? Are you selfish or generous with your time? Do you only have time for those with power over you or for those whom you love? Are you giving your time to the right people? Are you generous or selfish with your time?

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