How can we "take" our time? Perhaps the world would be a better place if more of us did.

When someone tells you to “take your time”, do they really mean it? Or do they really mean: “I will be patient with you but you are keeping me waiting.” Perhaps, they mean: “Please do not rush; I will try to be patient.” However, is it your time or their time that is being taken when you “take your time? What time could you take anyway? Where would you take it from? Can you reach into a barrel and pull time out or pluck it out of thin air? If time is in short supply, perhaps you cannot just take time, you must pay it back. This assumes that a law similar to the law of conservation of matter and energy also pertains to time. Such a law would state that there is no extra time in the universe, but that it is merely transferred from one person to another.

I suspect people do not always mean what they say or say what they mean. Whenever I say “take your time”, I know it is an effort on my part to be patient. It becomes a good opportunity for me to practice patience. Sometimes when I am at an intersection and the car in front of me just seems planted, I think “Take your time.” I have been known to honk or get agitated. I once remember getting ready to really lay on my horn, only to notice a disabled license plate on the car. Other times, I have noticed very young or very elderly people in the car. I think, “what if it was my mother in the car or a young beginning driver?” I feel guilty those times when I have laid on the horn. What does it take to exercise a little patience and let them “take their time?”

When someone tells you to “take your time”; are you grateful? Do you appreciate that they are letting you take their time as well as your time? Do you always take your time or do you try to get your work done as quickly as possible? What are the advantages of taking your time? What are the disadvantages? Can you see pro’s and con’s to taking your time? Maybe the world would be a better place if more of us took our time. What do you think?

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