"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."Benjamin Franklin
You've probably learned by now that life isn't always fair. While all of us have resources, there is a great disparity between those who have many and those who have few. Some have more money than others while still others have more energy, creativity, or technical ability than the next.
However, there is one great equalizer - time. No matter how energetic, how rich or poor, each of us has an equal amount of time per day. The ways we choose to spend our time is a reflection of not only our biological needs, but also our values. Amidst clamoring demands, we can vote for that which we feel is most important. We vote with our time.
If you are like most Americans, you have found that most of your time is spent at work - and that you struggle to maintain some semblance of balance. Consider the following statistics on Americans' use of time:
In her book, The Overworked American (1992), author Julie Schor stated that between the late 1970s and early 1990s, the average American added an extra 164 hours - a month of work - to his or her year.
In a 1990 survey conducted by the Los Angeles Times, 57% of fathers and 55% of mothers reported feeling guilty that they spent too little time with their children.
A national childcare study conducted in 1989 showed that the younger the child, the more time he or she is likely to spend in daycare. Babies under one year of age were found to stay an average of forty-two hours a week.
Sociologist William Goode made the following observation (1994): upper-middle class fathers advocated a greater role for men at home, though the pressures of a career often prevented them from living out what they claimed to believe. Working-class men, on the other hand, often actually did more at home than they thought they should. Today a confused group of men may be emerging between the other two, men who feel even more strongly than the upper-middle-class father that they should be doing more, and are even less able to live up to their ideals.
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