2017-05-17 / Opinion

In My Opinion

It’s time to care
BY CATHRYN LIEN
2014 CPS grad

Yesterday I overheard a man grumble, “Greed is the problem with this country.” Personally, I don’t have a lot of money. I’m still in school with loans to eventually pay off. I give what I can and save because I have to, and though I’m frugal, I would not call myself a greedy person. After thinking about what that man had said, I realized what I am guilty of is hoarding time. “I don’t have time” is my most used excuse. “I’ll make time” is what I say when I’ve placed something on high priority. For me, time has become my most valuable currency, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

We all seem so busy, but what are we busy doing? We’re all trying to make a living; some of us are saving for that new car, while the rest of us are just trying to survive. We need to spend time working, being with our families, and staying healthy, but there’s still time in the day to think of the world outside our comfortable bubbles. Our lives are meant for more than just our little corner of the universe.

We rarely take time to listen to people who think differently or read up on something we don’t know. Every day we ask the people we interact with, “How are you?” but we expect the simple answer - “Doing fine!” Rarely do we take time to hear what’s really going on in people’s lives.

We are too busy. Ironically, we also take time for granted. We put things off until tomorrow. We rush through our day spending time on errands and insignificant tasks, but the big things go unnoticed, untouched, or put off for a time that might not come.

We are also impatient with our time. Some of us would rather toss our fast food trash out the car window than take an extra five minutes to toss it in a trash can. We don’t take time to care for people properly. Most of us would prefer to toss a twenty dollar bill into a donation box than cook dinner for a family in need. It’s not money that’s got a hold of us. It’s time.

So what if we gave more of our time? Someone who needs the basics - food, clothing, and shelter - also needs someone to talk with, someone to listen, and someone to spend their time with. Even those of us who are blessed with the basics need that.

When you think about it, it’s vain to say “I’ll make time for that,” as if you can create time. The only time that’s tangible is the time you have right now. So what’s stopping you from giving your time? Why not devote a portion of your day to someone or something outside your little bubble. Go watch the news. Read a book on that one school subject you never quite grasped. Pick up that trash someone carelessly tossed on the side of the road. Invite a family over for dinner you think could use the company. We need to take time to care more about our world, our state, and our community. It’s never too late to start, so why not now?

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