Time: The Priceless Commodity


Time Marches On (click image for more Stephen Hansen artwork)

Norbert Elias Spent Time Pondering Time

Miriam Webster’s Dictionary defines “time” as “the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues” or ” a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future”   If you think about it, time is an odd concept.  Humans found it necessary to quantify that concept, hence the invention of the clock.  Rolf-Dietmar Ehrhardt determined that in order for time to exist, then a perceivable consciousness is required.  He says that time only exists “in 3 dimensionality”  and that earthly time does not exist in the hereafter.  Ehhardt’s essay briefly deals with the subject from a view of physics and psychology.   Sociologist Norbert Elias suggests in Time: An Essay that time itself is a concept totally unperceivable to the human senses. 

Time is something that every human in modern societies is aware of on a daily basis, yet, it is very difficult to get our hands around exactly what constitutes time.  Now, Webster’s says that the word “commodity” is “an economic good” but then qualifies that as something with varying types of physical characteristics.  But, its secondary defintion says “something useful or valued.”  Now, if we take the secondary defintion into consideration, then “time” could be considered a commodity.  It is useful and it does have value.  But what is that value?  Laborers could quantify time in terms of a currency amount per a specific time, such as $10 per hour.  But, the time of the clerk at the store may be valued at $10 per hour whereas the time of a auto mechanic may valued at $70 per hour by their employers.  So, it would seem that time is valued by different people at different levels for individuals who perform different tasks.   For investors in options, there is a concept that is known as time value but even that eventually by necessity becomes worthless.

Time Worthy of a TV Show

If you think about it, time might be the most valuable commodity on earth.  Once it is used, it can never be retrieved.  It can be used for a number of activities that may create profoundly positive results or and equally disasterous negative outcome.  Time might be used for entertainment purposes and one’s individual entertainment cannot easily be quantified by a dollar amount.  Then there is another possibility; time used for little consequence.   How many hours in  a day do you waste?  That hour you used watching a tv show cannot be retrieved.  Was it worth it to use a resource that is gone forever after a single use?  So often we use our time on pursuits that brings neither pleasure or profit, pain or loss.  When organizations ask for support, more often than not it comes in the form of a financial donation.  People say that they support some group or effort simply because they write a check.  Or, they say that they cannot support a group, organization or effort because they have no money to give. 

I submit that everyone can give to others.  Money is necessary in our global economy but, perhaps the greatest support that you can give is your time.   Your time is so valuable because it cannot be duplicated.  Your time is not a collective commodity but instead is uniquely associated to you as an individual.  Only you can give your time and what you give is like a snowflake; it is distintive and unique.   Others can give their time but it is never exactly like yours so yours has its own distinct value.   Time with your children or spouse is a unique event shared only by those involved.  Time counseling troubled youths is so valuable that it may make the difference whether a young person has a happy, joyous life or one of heartbreak and loss.  If your time positively affected the life of another human being, what is that worth?  Visiting a sick person in the hospital, offereing encouragement may serve nothing more than to let that person know that someone cares enough to visit and may make a difference in whether or not that person recovers successfully.  Can you put a dollar amount on that? 

 How much is time worth?  How much is it worth to take the time to see the smile on a child’s face?  What is it worth to pause and witness a glorious sunset?   Giving of ourselves means giving our time and any amount of financial donation cannot compare to the value of giving of oneself to another.  For those moments that you spend time with another, you are in effect laying down that part of your life for that person.  Perhaps we should step back and realize that everyone can give to others more than the wealthiest man in the world, simply by using our time wisely.  It is not unreasonable to think that if everyone used part of their own special gift for others rather than on mindless, inconsequential pursuits, then many problems that exist in the world today would be alieviated. And you can do it on your own.  As you watch the Super Bowl, consider perhaps later this week or this month, taking a third of the time you set aside for that entertainment on Super Sunday, and giving it to someone else.  Then ask yourself which was the wisest and most satisfying use of that elusive concept, time.

Saturday Snow Totals

Weather Bottom Line: We ended up with a very nice two inch snow across most of the area with the temperature falling below freezing as the rain turned to snow.  That provided the opportunity for the snow to stick to the trees and making it exceedingly beautiful all day.  The roads were generally okay but, after I had admonished everyone to be careful on the roads….I hit an entire city block downtown that was iced over at 4pm and I slid for the entire block into a parked truck.  I was only doing about 20 but the damage is pretty severe.  Snow White was not hurt but had to get out of the car from the driver’s side.  I was most fortunate that the airbag did not deploy. 

NAM close to 4 inches by Wednesday morning

Anway, we stayed below freezing all day Saturday and will also on Sunday.  If we get above freezing on Monday it won’t be by much or last very long.  Now, we do have a system for Tuesday and Wednesday possibly carring into Thursday.  I’ve been telling you about this for days as the models initially said double digit snow.  Then, they came up with a solution that brought snow, then shove a warmfront to our north and turned the precipitation to rain and then back to snow.  I didn’t like that solution for its own sake and also because it sounded like a mess to me with the potential for ice.  Well, as I had suggested earlier, the models not only shoved the timing of the event out of the Monday time frame back into Tuesday and Wednesday, but also has returned to the solution of it being all snow.  Some data still suggests for a short time that we have some rain or ice in between snow. 

GFS 6-8 inches by Wednesday evening

This is a very difficult forecast as this guy is going to be close and it is behaving rather erratically.  Models have snowfall from 4-8 inches, depending on which one you look at though the Canadian model last time I checked seemed even more bullish than that.  Plan on significant snow for Tuesday carrying into Wednesday as that is still possible but keep in mind that there may be a mixed bag with rain and perhaps freezing rain; a potential mess.  Both morning drives may be interesting as will Tuesday evening.  If you have kids, I would may preliminary plans to have them home from school because I think its almost a certainty that school will be cancelled for most school districts, but you never know what Jefferson County Schools will do so stay tuned.  This guy should show itself better over the next 36 hours.

5 Responses

  1. Sorry to hear about your accident. I’m just glad that no one was hurt!

    What can I say about time that you haven’t already said. Wise words in today’s post. We should use our time on this earth wisely since when it is gone there is no getting it back. And when our time is over then our work is done since there is “no knowledge or device” in the grave. It is a gift and we should cherish and use it in a way that is profitable to ourselves, others and, most of all as I believe, to our Lord.

  2. Thanx. Some time I’ll tell you what I was doing when I came up with that. Actually, I’ve written about it before in an unpublished novel. I told you about the storm….looks like the beginning of it doesn’t get here until after midnight early Tuesday morning. Tell you what though…it’s very tough. I’ll be interested to hear what your morning friend has to say because this one is a “call God” forecast. I’ve found that we almost always seem to be on the rain/snow line and rarely is it a slam dunk snowstorm. Graphically, this one shows up as all snow on every model but numerically there is some continuity of snow rain snow. I still think it’s going to be tough to get above freezing after Tuesday for at least a week. I’m even skepitcal about Monday. But, if we do get above freezing at any time during the next 10 days, it wont be by much and not for long.

  3. I’m flying back from northern Ohio Monday afternoon and am supposed to arrive in Louisville around 4:00 p.m. I hope that this storm doesn’t mess up my return flight. I’m coming back through Chicago. Are they supposed to get this one? I do not like travelling at all and I would not be happy about getting stuck somewhere!!!

  4. I think you’ll be fine. Chicago may get 8-12 inches and it may be some light snow in the afternoon but it really doesn’t crank up until after sunset. Around here probably not until after midnight. As long as you don’t have a long delay in Chi-town, then you should have no trouble even when you get home for the drive back to the Eric Estate.

  5. S.S., I am also sorry hear about your accident and am glad to learn you and Snow White are both ok. I hope the damage to your ride isn’t extensive.

    Jersey Snow Report, in case you’re interested:

    Cherry Hill, NJ (10 miles east of Philadelphia) – 27-30″ of snow.
    Verona, NJ (90 miles NE of Phila., 15 miles NW of NYC) – 0″ of snow.

    I have family in both locales. As winters go, it’s been completely upside down in the Garden State. South typically receives much less snow than north, even though it’s a small state, thanks to low elevations and water on three sides. This winter, the two largest storms to hit the state (to date) have proven otherwise.

    The southern Jersey shore (Atlantic City south to the Cape May peninsula) generally experiences the mildest winters in terms of statewide snowfall. This area got hit even worse, with the heaviest snow plus all the wind, resulting in widespread power outages. Amazing.

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