“What two things do you value the most in life?” was a question asked to Warren Buffett by a shareholder at the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders meeting.
What do you think Buffett said?
Was it his multinational holding company Berkshire Hathaway? His two favorite stocks? A specific company? A rare possession?
“It’s the two things,” Buffett said, “you can’t buy: time and love.”
Buffett and his long time business partner, Charlie Munger were fielding questions and both agreed that material goods were never their goal.
“I’ve been very, very, very lucky in life to be able to control my own time to an extreme degree,” Buffett said. “Charlie’s always valued that too.”
These are interesting and insightful words coming from the Oracle of Omaha who is said to be worth about $90 billion.
If you lack material resources, it’s easy to think that the answer to life’s problems would be more money. Yet, the man who has more than he can ever spend, admits that his wealth is not the most important value in his life.
Our values define us. They speak to our ethics, morals and mores. What we value we prioritize. Hyrum Smith says, “Whatever your particular governing values may be, they are represented by the clearest answers you can give to these questions: What are the highest priorities in my life? and Of these priorities which do I value the most?
Time is valuable. It is limited. Fleeting. And transitory. Ben Franklin is credited with saying, “Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
Realizing the brevity of life, the Psalmist exhorted, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Ps 90:1). Then regarding the uncertainty of life, the wise man warns, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
The advice of the late motivational speaker, Earl Nightingale, is worth heeding. “Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”
Take time to love. And to be loved. Bask in the love of God. Share his love with others. And spend some time expressing your love to Him.
The Bible teaches that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our being. And the second greatest command is to love our fellow man (Matt 22:37-40.) The great love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) reminds that love is characterized by our patience, kindness, calmness, unselfishness, trust, and perseverance. No one can put a price tag on these virtues.
The time we invest sharing love, showing love and receiving the blessing of love yields the greatest of life’s benefits and blessings.
No amount of money can purchase time or love. And they combine a dynamic and powerful duo. One of my favorite writers, anonymous, expressed this way:
Take time to think:
it is the source of power.
Take time to read;
it is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to play;
it is the secret of staying young.
Take time to be quiet;
it is the opportunity to see God.
Take time to be aware;
it is the opportunity to help others.
Take time to laugh;
it is the music of the soul.
Take time to be friendly;
it is the road to happiness.
Take time to dream;
it is what the future is made of.
Take time to pray;
it is the greatest power on earth.
Take time to love and be loved;
it is God’s greatest gift.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman