Does that sound pretentious? Possibly so, but that doesn’t change the fact that it could be true. Time is limited, and therefore, precious. Time is something one can never regain. Once it is gone, it is gone for good. This is why wasting someone else’s time is such a transgression. You never know how valuable someone’s time is.
If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality. – Benjamin Franklin
There is a prevailing mindset that every person is equal, which is cultivating a culture of intellectual and physical apathy. We are not all equal. We start out that way, but our actions, our choices, and our abilities determine our fates in this world. This is not to be disparaging, I am simply explicating the situation. Equality, as a social parameter, simply means we are all inherently the same, as human beings. Your race, gender, orientation, etc. do not make you better or lesser than any other. This is why jingoism, racism, sexism, et al, are so iniquitous. Weak people validate themselves by perpetuating a nonsensical belief that one group is better than another on premises that have no actual bearing on one’s actual worth. Being born in America does not make you a better person than someone born in Mexico, Iraq, or even Nazi Germany. It means nothing whatsoever. Being of one color of skin does not make you better than someone of another color. It means nothing whatsoever. The ugly truth is that weak people will latch onto anything as a way of making themselves feel better, rather than simply elevating themselves through virtue of choice and deed. People who think birthplace or skin color plays any role in quality of person are weak.
In society, all humans ought to be afforded equal opportunity to excel in direct proportion to their abilities and their drive. The topic of systemic hindrances toward certain subsections of the populace is beyond the scope of this post. They exist, and that is all I will say on the matter.
But with all that being said, and all other things being equal, time is not equal.
Time is a valuable currency that most humans waste. Everyone wastes a little time, but most people waste most of their time. It is a myth that some people have more time than others. There are only 24 hours in a day. Some people simply utilize their time more wisely, more efficiently, or they do something more productive with their time than others do.
Everyone wastes a little time, but most people waste most of their time.
Imagine two people, side by side, and one of them spends exactly 60 minutes working on something like a bionic eye to help blind people see, or maybe a new method of growing human brain cells. The other one spends exactly 60 minutes watching Taylor Swift videos and playing around with their new selfie stick.
Which one’s time is more valuable?
One’s time is very much like their currency in life. Each nation, for example, could have its own economic currency. Dollars, pounds, yen, marks, etc. These currencies are all worth different amounts. One country’s note may purchase more goods and services than that of another country, because it is worth more. This is just one of the basic principles of economics. It is no secret that some currencies are worth more than others. Time operates in much the same way.
This is not to say that a plumber’s time is not valuable, or that the person working the drive-thru at Whataburger is worthless. It is to say that one person’s time might be worth more than another’s, based on what they are accomplishing. What is their time purchasing?
Allow me to illustrate another aspect of this concept. The most innovative individuals are rare. The greatest minds of our time are going to be small in number. The people who can perform tasks that require higher intellect or some other premium skill are in higher demand. The economics of this dictates that these skills and abilities are worth more to society than something not as exclusive. It is easier to find another line cook than it is to find another quantum physicist or neurosurgeon. This is supply and demand applied to abilities and productivity of the individual. These individuals who innovate on a global scale are much rarer in number, as are their abilities, talents, etc. Thus, the supply is low, making the demand (and the value) high.
If there are only a handful of nations whose currency can purchase a particular thing, their currency is more valuable. The same applies to people and their time. What an individual uses his or her time to purchase becomes the determinant of the time’s value.
Value, however, is subjective. One may spend $25,000 on an ice cream sundae, while another may spend $25,000 to build a school somewhere or feed a village. The same amount of money was spent, yet it can be reasonably argued that the values of the purchases differ. And just as in my 60-minutes example above, the same amount of time can be spent, just on different things.
Some people actually do have more important things than [x] to do. So while it may seem pretentious to make the claim that my time is more valuable than someone else’s, it is nevertheless a very distinct possibility. It’s not really worth arguing over, either. You should just take someone’s word for it.
The bottom line is this: don’t waste other people’s time. You never know what they would otherwise be doing with it, and to rob one person of their time is to rob the whole world of it.