There was once a large store, located in a shopping centre, where all types of clocks and watches were available — sun clocks, water clocks, mechanical clocks, quartz clocks, atomic clocks to name a few, in the clocks category; and chronographs, chronometers, designer watches, stopwatches and pocket watches in the watches category.

Every day hundreds of customers visited the shop and many purchased clocks and watches of different types, according to their need, taste and lifestyle. One thing, however, was common in all customers — though all of them were too eager to buy clocks or watches, no one seemed to treasure the real value of time. They all were lazy individuals and had the bad habit of procrastination.

The younger generation was keen to buy designer watches that were too expensive but not even a single person ever realised the importance of ‘being punctual’. The working people among the younger generation were never on time to their offices, while the students were no different and they found it ‘cool’ to arrive late for school/college and bunk classes.

The clocks and watches used to observe the lazy behaviour of human beings and were really annoyed. The owner of the store too, had become careless and unpunctual. In the beginning when he was establishing his business, he was punctual and very active but as soon as his business began to grow, he became uncaring and inactive. Now he used to open the shop late and close it too early. This affected the business, but he didn’t care at all.

“The business is gradually going down because of this shopkeeper’s laziness, but it seems that now he loves to be unpunctual,” said a stopwatch in a sarcastic tone. To this, a mechanical clock agreed and nodded its head. A designer watch also joined them and said, “Look at these teenagers. They are only interested in showing-off their parents’ wealth. They wear me and keep a lot of expensive watches in their wardrobe, but there isn’t a single day in their life when they behave responsibly and treasure time. And after they waste it, then they cry over spilt milk.”

When the clocks and watches were talking about the idleness of people, a fat lady came inside the shop to buy a very expensive quartz clock for her bungalow. “Now look at her. The lady is too lazy to get up early in the morning for workouts so that she can lose some weight, and is eager to decorate her home because she has a lot of money to waste,” said a water clock.

The lady bought a beautiful quartz clock and left the shop.

The clocks were worried as they could see the world’s destruction because of people’s habit of wasting precious time.

“Is there no one who can listen to us? Who can value time so that he /she can contribute to the world’s betterment?” said a sun clock in a state of despair.

A little girl was standing by there with her father who had come to buy a beautiful watch for his daughter as her birthday present. The girl carefully listened to what the clocks and watches were talking about and was really embarrassed to realise that she too had the habit of wasting time. She felt sorry and turned to the clocks and watches to apologise.

She began, “Whatever all of you said is absolutely right and I don’t know about others, but at least I have realised my mistake.

I promise you all that from now I will not waste even a single minute and always treasure my valuable time. I will offer prayers on time, will do my school homework without procrastinating and also advise my mom and dad to be punctual for their everyday tasks.” Saying this, the little girl bid good bye to the clocks and watches and left the store with her father.

All clocks and watches were happy as now they could see a ray of hope for the world’s survival.

Dear kids, just like that little girl who understood the value of time, you too must realise that many things in this world can be regained after losing them, but time, being the most valuable, can’t be regained once it is lost.

So abandon your habit of wasting time and pledge to yourself that you won’t put off your tasks and will make the most of your time.

Updated Nov 26, 2011 03:37am

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