In all our deeds, the proper value and respect for time determines success or failure.

-Malcolm X

Lost time is never found again.

-Benjamin Franklin

We all know that our time is valuable. But do we know how valuable?

What if I told you, that the time you think you have doesn't even exist?

What if I told you, that you are literally wasting your life away?

Statistically, you are.

A gentleman knows that time is of the essence. At all times, his minutes, hours, days, must be spent in fruitful pursuit. There is no such thing as "free" time, for all time is equal in cost. For every wasted minute, for every day you lounge around, you are paying for it with your life.

Knowing full well that none of us will live forever, why do we continue to spend our time doing such nonsensical things like playing angry birds or watching terrible reality television? Why in the world do we not realize that even the phrase "killing time" is terrifying and misleading. We are not killing time; time is killing us. And if we don't use the time, it still kills us. Imagine the worst possible cell phone plan possible: no rollover minutes, no discount for friends and family, and if you don't use your minutes, they cost you your life. That's time in a nutshell.

Relatively speaking, time slips away faster with every passing day. And yet, it would appear that with every new development in technology, we are spending less time enjoying what exists all around us and more time doing our best to ignore it.

When walkmen hit the scene, we stopped hearing.

When handheld devices came out, we stopped seeing.

It's gotten to the point where if we want to experience the world we are going to have to start licking and smelling it, because our hands, eyes, and ears are far too busy to enjoy it.

Taste, and smell are all that remain for technology to overcome before we can ignore the physical world in its entirety. Think how efficiently we can "kill time" then.

It is the nature of the human brain to seek out entertainment. And it is the nature of the modern brain to seek it out in the easiest way possible. We have gotten lazy, spoiled, and numb. Where 50 years ago, our grandparents would have gone out into the world to seek out stimulus, we instead sit on a couch, drink condensed sugar, and waste our time in the hopes that stimulation will come to us. We even put televisions in our cars so we don't have to deal with the annoyance of our children. This way, not only can we preserve our sanity by not having to talk to them, but we can also give our kids the head start we all love to scream and yell about. You see, now that Frozen can be playing 24/7, no matter where they are, the next generation will be incredibly adept at ignoring life. Forget about the school systems, the kids are learning everything they will ever need at home. Have a question? Ask the cell phone. Bored? Look at the cell phone! Lonely, sad, happy, tired, no matter what the emotion, there's an app for that. And since we can't bring ourselves to engage them, they will be even better at wasting time than us, and it will be entirely our collective fault.

I don't know about you, but with the small amount of time we have here, I say put that phone down, take off your google glass, remove those damn ear buds and let's take a walk and have a conversation. Let's teach our children to observe and instill in them excitement for the physical world.

We wonder why teenagers won't engage the world anymore. We stand agog while they wander around in packs, staring into their hands. Allow me to enlighten you. They do this because we have raised them in headphones and ipads. It is all these kids know. From the time that they first exhibited boredom in a restaurant, we have intentionally removed them from society in the attempt to make our own lives easier. Instead of teaching a child how to interact with a polite group of people, instead of training them in self restraint, respect, and discipline, we choose to tuck them away into headphones and portable screens. They would be better off at home with a sitter who at least might read to them.

But why would we expect our kids to engage in conversation instead of hiding in the digital world? We do it to ourselves as well don't we?

We teach by example and when your son or daughter watches mommy or daddy playing some mind numbing technology instead of broadening their mind, what lesson are we teaching? What lesson are we teaching when instead of playing games together, singing songs, or holding a conversation, we turn the television on and then put headphones on the child so we can all exist on separate planes?

Why can't you be bothered to raise your child?

Based on an AVG poll of 2,200 mothers worldwide.

There has been a meme circulating for years directed to the fathers of the world. It explains, in so many words, that your daughter will seek out a man just like you. If the influence of a parent's actions on a child is such a clearly understood concept, why do I see so many moms and dads at the park staring at their phones while the children play? Learned behavior is not limited to romantic attraction. These kids see you. They see you ignoring them and they learn that this is ok behavior. Won't it be sweet in 50 years or so when you are slipping away in a hospital bed somewhere and your child is sitting right there by your side...playing Candy Crush 9. But don't worry, they won't ignore you entirely, they will still send you facebook invitations to play.

Why even have a child if you have no desire to engage it? Why do you bother creating life when you have no respect for the life you were already given? If a child sees you wasting food, the child will learn that it's ok. If a child sees you screaming at a waiter, the child will learn that this is acceptable behavior. And if a child sees you retreat into the glowing palm of your hand every time you sit down, instead of doing something fruitful, the child will see this disrespectful waste of time as normal too.

And frankly, we don't have enough time to begin with that we can afford to disrespect it.

I am not saying that anyone who turns on the television is a bad parent. I did it myself this morning. What I am saying is that with our time here being so limited, and with the knowledge that our children are always watching and learning, we should all try much harder to seek out better activities than that new app that you find so addictive.

Perhaps when you hear the following, you may rethink the way you spend your leisure time:

The average person lives to be 78 years old.

That same person, out of their 78 years on the planet, only has 9 years and 6 months on their own that is unused, un-wasted time.

On average, 9 and one half years are all we get to spend time with family, friends, reading, going for walks, playing with a puppy, or even in quiet contemplation.

114 months is all we are given to enjoy the company of our children or fly a kite or read a book. If you knew you only had 114 months to live, if you knew your time of death to the second, would you spend it playing games on an iphone? If you knew that your time was limited to less than ten years, would you spend another moment watching bad television because "it's the only thing on?" If your death was just around the corner, would you spend the car trip talking to your kids or putting them in head phones because "it keeps them quiet?"

The platitude says to live every day as if it were your last.

You don't have to do that. I believe it's unrealistic and frankly idiotic. If we all lived every day as if it were our last, there would be no gyms and Krispy Kreme stock would skyrocket.

No you shouldn't live everyday as if it were your last, but you should live every moment as if it were an investment.

And you should live every moment with the full knowledge that you'll never get it back.

Because one must always remember, a gentleman is respectful and appreciative of all that he is given; and that includes his time. It is, after all, the most valuable gift you will ever receive. You can thank your parents later...that would be a good use of time.

Until next time, be a gentleman.

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