There are many important elements to us personally, individually and as members of the human society. To me, no one element or concept is more important than time.

“Sweet childish days that were as long as twenty days are now” – William Wordsworth

Compression: As technology allows for changes and adaptation to a different culture, we tend to value things that provide for material goods and for services differently than what used to be most important. I see many societal members in the U.S. as being more affluent than ever. Accordingly, we have more time for the things and services that complement our desire for fulfillment and “happiness.”

Technology as we know it today has not necessarily afforded us more time; it has revised how we perceive the time we have. We measure time differently. The technology age has compressed the element of time. What used to take days or hours to accomplish may take seconds or less today. By changing our expectations of how long a certain task should take, we can become disappointed in a command that takes an extra five or 10 seconds when we think it should happen almost instantaneously.

The computer and technology age, by re-defining time expectations, has in fact, allowed us to demand more within a block of time relative to what we would have expected several years ago. Most Gen X, Millennials, Gen Y and younger have or will grow up using technology and touching buttons for life’s solutions. It’s a quantum shift in our society and how we measure results.

“The world’s a bubble, and the life of man, less than a span” – Francis Bacon

Valuation: As we age, there is a slow, yet on-going shift in terms of how one values time. As a young man, I didn’t think in terms of time relative to a lifetime. It was more related to a semester or a summer. I viewed time as a measure of how quickly I could accomplish something. Back then, a semester was a “long time.” Now, several months is merely a block of time to me. My focus used to be a chase for money and what it could buy. Now, time takes on a more precious segment of what I value most. There is a paradigm shift taking place as it relates to time. Youth tends to value money over time. At some point, depending on age and other factors, time will take on more importance. We learn to recognize the precious value of time.

“Dost thou love life? Then, do not squander time, for that is the stuff that life is made of” – Benjamin Franklin

Measurement: Time is measured in so many ways: There’s the time value of money, time for an appointment, vacation time, bedtime and hopefully, time for whatever is important to you. There’s quality time, defined differently by each of us. However we measure our time, my hope is that you’ll recognize its real, intrinsic value and never take it for granted. As we age, the impressions we have about time reflect on our past, as well as the present and on our future.

“Time is not measured by clocks but by moments” – Author Unknown

Time: It’s the one thing we cannot control, expand or create. It is perhaps the most valuable element there is!

Ken W. Knies is an agricultural and rural consultant. He holds a bachelor’s of science and arts from the University of Arkansas and a master’s of business administration from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. He formed Ag Strategies, LLC as a business unit focused on quality borrowers and lenders.


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