The True Value of Time

Bill Mann came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his eight-year-old son waiting for him at the door.

“Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

“Yeah, sure. What is it Jack?” replied Bill.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?”

“That’s none of your business son! What makes you ask such a thing?” the father asks angrily.

“I just wanted to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the boy.

“If you must know, I make £20 an hour.”

Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow £9 please?”

Bill was furious. “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed Jack.

“Think about why you’re being selfish. I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for such games.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The tired father sat down and started to get madder about his little boy’s impertinent questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After an hour Bill had calmed down. He started to think he might have been a little too hard on his son. Maybe, just maybe, there was something he really needed to get with that £9. And thinking about it Jack didn’t ask for money often.

The father went to his son’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep, Jack?” Bill asked.

“No, Daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the father. “It’s been a long day and I took my aggravations out on you. Here’s the £9 you asked for.”

The little boy sat up straight, beaming. “Oh, thank you daddy!” he said. Then reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some crumpled bills and several coins. He counted the money, then looked up at his father.

“Why did you want more money if you already had some?” Bill asked.

“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.

“Daddy, I have £20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?”


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