The Thought for the Day – Nero Wolfe

Come, sir, is time really so precious? Mine isn’t. If yours is, all the more tempting to steal a little. – Nero Wolfe


Nero Wolfe is actually a fictional character, a private detective who lives in a brownstone on West 32nd Street in Manhattan. The exact address has varied over the years. He seldom leaves his house, preferring to send confidential assistant Archie Goodwin to do the actual detecting, We’ve been reading Wolfe stories since we were 13 and he and Archie and the rest of the gang are pretty real to us, so we attributed today’s Thought, from the book A Right to Die, to Wolfe instead of his creator, Rex Stout. Nero Wolfe stories were published from the 1930’s to the 1970’s.

We talk a lot here about making our time serve us. With reason, too, because if we don’t we will spend our lives marking time, serving a sentence while on this planet. This doesn’t do us or anyone else any good because our planet works best when people live the lives they were meant to live.

And we try to do that. We spend an awful lot of time producing funny, substantive stuff for you to read and we do other things Mother Nature compels us to do, too.  

…all the more tempting to steal a little.

Sometimes, though, it’s nice to steal a little time. A recent day off – and we don’t have too many of those – saw us get the snow tires put on, get a haircut, go out to lunch and sign up for the gym again. It was a pleasant way to while away some idle hours.

You can’t have too many idle hours, though. Enough idle hours add up to idle days and weeks and before you know it you’re looking back on idle years and decades, looking back on what might have been instead of looking forward to the rewards for the work you’ve put into your life.

…is time really so precious?

On the other hand, of course, our time is precious. 24 hours are all we have each day. We can’t borrow anymore and we can’t avoid some of them, either. They are there, waiting for us relentlessly. Not only that, unless the governor has signed a piece of paper, we generally have no idea when our final hour will come. It’s important to put our hours to work for us.

But perhaps not every single one. It’s good, even necessary, to steal a few hours for ourselves from time to time.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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