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Could you use some time to ... ?

We humans value lots of things and we've devised ways to measure that value by inventing base "relate to" references, that everyone understands. We commonly call these references "currencies" and I've written about some of the most important ones in this article.

Out of those, time is king. It is finite, flows one way only (at least according to our current understanding) and is impossible to get back. Yet it strikes me as funny how we tend to refer to it in normal conversations. I've been thinking about this recently and I myself, am not free of the guilt of using the following phrases:

Do you have some time for/to [...]?

Or, if it's a self reference:

I do/don't have time for/to [...]

I'm reciting this (sometimes several times a day) with a fair degree of automation and confidence. But lately I've come to ask myself why am I doing it.

It's not like someone truly owns time. You do not have it stored somewhere in a safe box. Time is unbiased and equal to all. We get twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for as many weeks as our magical lives will endure before screaming a loud "fuck you" to everyone and concede the fight. If anything, time is the most equally distributed currency there is.

So, if you think about it for a second, there is no such thing as having time. At least not in a literal sense. Time is a known daily and objective constant. What is subjective though, is how we are using it. Yes we do have to sleep, eat, etc. But apart from the basic needs, it all comes down to personal decisions. That being said, how one decides to capitalize on time's continuous flow, is what I think we should ask more often.

Could you use some time to/for [...]?

I've come to think now, that saying it like above makes it more real. More human. And it shows respect and recognition to the person being asked, who is fully empowered to do whatever they want with any of the  twenty-four hours they get daily.

I admit I'm being a bit of a hypocrite here. I'm not used to this way of expressing myself and, for what's worth, I agree it may sound silly to a lot of you. But I've decided to make a conscious effort and, from now on, ask people about whether they could use time instead of whether they have it.


Thank you for using some time to read this article.

Vlad Zelinschi

Vlad Zelinschi

Vlad is a pragmatic software architect, lover of the web and caffeine addict. He is the CTO of Strongbytes, Google Developer Expert on Web Technologies since October 2016 and a certified trainer.

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