If you are familiar with Gary Chapman’s book titled THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES, you will wonder if that is what I want to talk about in this piece. Gary Chapman in his book listed the Five Love Languages: Gifts, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch and Quality Time.
This piece will focus on QUALITY TIME. This simply refers to the time spent with a loved one. Someone who has this as a love language will not be impressed by the others. So you can by all the gifts in the world, touch all the places you want to touch, do all the acts of service and speak all the words you can speak and the person will be unmoved.
The person wants you! You! You! And nothing else. ‘I want you to spend time with me. Talk to me. I want to be with you. that’s all I ask,’ the person will say. For a lot of people who know the value of time, this can be exasperating.
I was talking to a friend lately and I told her that I have come to know the value of time since I became an entrepreneur. I have discovered that sometimes, it is much easier to part with money than to give your time to someone else. I charge per hour for my English Grammar training and GUAGE THE TIME for my writing and book editing sessions, so time is so valuable to me. You have to deserve it before I can give it out.
But it is important for us to spend time with those we love. If they are far away, spend time on the phone talking to them. If they live in the same town with you, try to visit. If you live in the same house with them, carve out time from your busy schedule to talk with them. In the fast moving city of Lagos where I live, people need to consciously create time or they will become strangers to their families. Imagine someone who wakes up at 4a.m to go to work, returns at 11p.m as limp as a rag doll, too tired to eat. The children have gone to bed and all that person sees is visions of a well-made bed to lay a tired body on.
I remember once when I returned home from work during my days as a bank executive. I slept with my ID card on my neck. Wetin? Didn’t the hard object used to make the card make me uncomfortable? That showed how tired I was. People who have such jobs need to find a way to bond with their families or their children will refer to them as ‘this woman’ and ‘this man, and the house manager as ‘my mummy.’
I can hear you say, ‘God forbid.’
So we need to spend QUALITY TIME with loved ones. Mr Agyepong whom I mentioned in the other articles stated that, ‘It is not the QUANTITY OF TIME spent with your family that matters but the QUALITY OF TIME.’ He was responding to a question about how he is able to create time to spend with his family while running forty companies and still counting. You can spend hours with them and achieve nothing and spend just thirty minutes and create great bonding. That’s Quality Time! Mr Joseph Agyepong said he does not isolate his children from his business. He tells them about events that happen there and asks for their opinions. He spends time with them and they share a close bond. ‘The business will not collapse if you go and sleep so don’t carry everything on your head. Spend time with your family,’ he admonished.
Now if a man who runs forty companies can spend time with his loved ones, what excuse do you have? When you are just managing a small desk in a corner of an office. Or running one company or a few companies? You can create time to spend with them.
A friend once told me how shattered he felt when his sister died. ‘I was heartbroken because I had not seen her for so long. I kept saying I did not have time to visit. But when she died, I created time to come for her burial.’
Quite morbid you will say.
Let us spend QUALITY TIME with those we love. Like I always say, ‘People are assets. Treasure them.’