# The Bank of Time

December 7, 2009

The familiar bell rang, signaling that all students should be at their seats by now. The college professor looked up from his work and saw his students quickly shuffling to their seats, in hopes that he would not count them tardy. The professor let out a deep sigh, his students were very disappointing.
He took off his reading glasses, and pretended not to notice his students still rushing to their seats. He stepped onto his podium, cleared his throat and began his lecture, “Welcome, students! Today, we’ll start our class with a something a little more interesting.”
The students responded by taking out their notebooks, prepared to take notes. The professor’s disappointment grew stronger. Still, he tried to keep enthusiasm in his voice as he continued, “Let’s start with a hypothetical question. What if every one of you were given a deposit in a very special bank. Every day, this certain bank would add exactly \$86,400 to you account, no more or no less. However, there is a drawback to this benefit. Your last day’s deposit would not be able to be saved into your account. Or in other words, at the end of each day your money saved in that bank would be taken away, and you would be again left with \$0 until the next day begins. Under these circumstances, what would you do?”
Many students raised their hands. The professor picked one, “You, what would you do?”
The student answered with great certainty, “I think it’s pretty obvious, just spend all the money you can during the day, so the bank doesn’t take it away.
The professor excitedly replied, “Exactly! You would use all of the money in one day, and then use all of the money the next, and so on.”
The professor lowered his voice a little and asked, “What if I told you there was actually a bank exactly like this?”
The students shifted in their seats and murmured delightedly. The professor paced across the room in between the rows of students and continued talking, “This bank’s name is Bank of Time. Every day each of you are given 86,400 seconds. And at the end of every day, this amount is deprived from you and there is nothing you can do. You can’t take it away to save for later. What you lose will be forever lost. The only way to make use of this amount is to treasure each and every second given to you…”