The Ever-Changing Expectation Of Time

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”

— Tennessee Williams

It wasn’t too many years ago when a 10-mile drive was an arduous ordeal.

10 miles isn’t what it used to be.

Today, in most places, many of us will drive 10 miles (or more) to go shopping, to attend an event, or to take our kids to music lessons. The trip is fast, easy, and comfortable. We drive on multi-lane roads invented for speed. The same interstates that our grandparents marveled at back in the 50’s. They were an incredible invention. We should rejoice in the delight of being able to shrink the space between such vast distances.

But we don’t.

We complain because the traffic is bad. We fret because we’re late. We grumble because we hit every red light. We privately (or openly) curse when road construction brings us to a halt.

What’s changed?

Mostly, our expectation of time. We expect that 10 miles should take vastly less time to travel than it often does. Just 100 years ago, we would have expected a 10 mile journey to take a good part of the day. Now, we expect it to take 10 minutes. Time has changed. Space stayed the same, time shrank.

Actually, that’s not quite true. Time hasn’t changed either. *We* have changed. We, as a society, made the change in time by changing our expectation of time. The change in expectation was a choice, maybe an unconscious choice, but a choice nonetheless. Like choices, expectations can be changed. By changing our expectation of how long it takes to drive 10 miles, then we’ll change our attitude toward that time.

And if we can change our expectation of how much time we are going to spend driving 10 miles, then we can change our expectation of just about anything. Including how much time we have to give.

We have time to give if we believe that we have time to give. We have time to make a difference if we believe that we have time to make a difference. The expectation about time is a choice and is ours to control if we will just do it.

We *do* have time to make a difference.

Yesterday’s gift of time … Drove far more than 10 miles to get both my son and daughter to their respective music lessons. I expected to have time for them, and I did. 

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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