The Cost And Value Of Giving Time

“Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.”

— Buddha

There is a direct relationship between the cost and value of time given.

FEMA - 13355 - Photograph by Kevin Galvin taken on 01-01-2004 in Massachusetts

When we buy a gift for someone, especially around the holidays, our gifts are often greatly-rushed, ill-conceived, and poorly-planned. The results are predictable. How many Christmas gifts end up in the dump or on a Goodwill shelf?

Yet, when we spend generous amounts of time crafting, building, or making something for someone, those gifts are often treasured for a lifetime. Think of that quilt that has been handed down for generations.

The more valuable the gift, the higher the cost.

Something interesting happens, though, when time is given. The value to the giver goes up as well.

When one opens up to help someone else, defensiveness may drop. Perception of the world and “home” can change. Counter-intuitively, giving time gives you time and stress levels may fall. Thinking about giving time can also make us feel more charitable. Giving can also help eliminate the guilt of not doing enough.

And if my own experience giving time for the past two years is any guide at all, then the cost of giving is far less than the value received.


Yesterday’s gift of time … Spoke to the Future Stars. The speech was written specifically for them in hopes that the value they received was far greater than the cost of my time.

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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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