Dr. Kaushik Sridhar

The Value of 86,400 seconds

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William Shakespeare once said, “Time is very slow for those who want, very fast for those who are scared, very long for those who are sad and very short for those who celebrate but for those who love, time is eternal”.

The Value of 86,400 seconds

Everyday 86,400 seconds are deposited into your life account. These seconds are so much more powerful than money because you can always make more money, you can’t always make more time.

  • To realize the value of 1 year, ask a student who failed a grade.
  • To realize the value of 1 month, ask a parent who lost their child in the first month.
  • To realize the value of 1 week, ask an editor of an online magazine.
  • To realize the value of 1 hour, ask a couple who are in a long distance relationship.
  • To realize the value of 1 minute, ask a person who just missed a bus, train or plane.
  • To realize the value of 1 second, ask a person who just missed an accident.
  • To realize the value of 1 millisecond, ask a person who just came 2nd at the Olympics.

Life and time are the two best teachers. Life teaches us to make good use of time and time teaches us the value of life.

At the end of the day once they’re all used up you get a new 86,400 seconds. We would never waste it if it was money, so why do we waste it when it comes to time? So there is good news and there’s bad news. That bad news is time flies, the good news is you’re the pilot. The biggest mistake is you think you have infinite amount of time.


Time is a quality of existence. Existence has humanity baffled for centuries and everyone tries to comprehend its hidden meaning. Science tries to put everything into relationships, numbers, percentages, theories, laws, observations, frames of reference, and physical manifestations like temperatures, pressures, conditions in the past, present and make hypothetical predictions. The universe in return is cold and seems not to care if we have been observing it or not. We consider the what, where, why, when and how. We are the only ones that seems to have any type of reason to explain time. Time, because of our mortality, has a perceived negative value in that we as humans come into existence only to quickly burn up and pass away never to return again. It is cold.

We consider time with another part of us however. The part of us that is not only of the mind but through the lens of our emotions and at times with influence of the abstract. We interject the ‘who’ component. We use ourselves as an example of a ‘who’. We develop studies such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, and theology which attempts to link our existence, in time, to a philosophy in a positive way. By combining this passion which is our “hot component” with science (“cold component”) we come to our own conclusions on just how to view our existence, and in so, time.

Time exists for me as an unknown like existence itself to play itself out as it will. I’m glad I have this opportunity to witness ALL that has been put before me as a self-reflective being. The connections we forge while we live are of major importance. Family, friends and the trip along the way make the time we have here the only thing we have for sure.

I will conclude this article with a story from Alexander the Great:

On his death bed, Alexander summoned his army generals and told them his three ultimate wishes:The best doctors should carry his coffin…The wealth he has accumulated (money, gold, precious stones) should be scattered along the procession to the cemetery…His hands should be let loose, so they hang outside the coffin for all to see!

One of his generals who was surprised by these unusual requests asked Alexander to explain. Here is what Alexander the Great had to say:

“I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal…”

“I want the road to be covered with my treasure so that everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth, will stay on earth…”

“I want my hands to swing in the wind, so that people understand that we have come to this world empty handed and we leave this world empty handed after the most precious treasure of all is exhausted, and that is: TIME.

We do not take to our grave any material wealth. TIME is our most precious treasure because it is LIMITED. We can produce more wealth, but we cannot produce more time. When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never take back. Our time is our life! The best present that you can give someone is your TIME!

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