This I Believe

Leticia - Buda, Texas
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

When all is said and done, I believe the only thing each of us truly own is this moment in time. These moments, collected and strung together in what is called ‘a lifetime’, make up the fabric of my existence and they define who I have become. For it is how I spend the time given on this earth, which will be how others remember me. The time I have to live is the only commodity, which cannot be inherited, given, bought, stolen or traded.

I have heard some people say that ‘Time is money.’ and yet, I cannot agree. For to me, there is no amount of money that could replace the time it took to heal when I was a child who lost my mother; just as there is no amount of money I would take for the moment when I held each of my children for the first time. No one can replace those moments with anything of monetary value. My father use to tell me that money and possessions would always come and go in your life, but how I spent my time is what really mattered.

As someone who has watched her parents and grandparents die before she was 40, I realize the preciousness that time is. If I could ‘have the time’ to tell each of them that I loved them and that they mattered to me, there is no material possession I wouldn’t sacrifice for that moment. “Giving time” to share, to love, to be compassionate, to be kind, considerate, and nurturing is more important than “taking the time” to get ahead, grab the brass ring or gain another promotion.

I use to be someone who would sacrifice my time being at work with overtime, out of town meetings and working on weekends. Then I had to stop and think. Is this how I wanted to be remembered? Do I want to be remembered as someone who spent what little time I have working for a slightly larger income, a better car or other material possession. Did I want to be someone who came home too exhausted to listen to what my children did today? Or did I want to be remembered for giving my family and loved ones the most precious thing I have to give: this moment in time.