American society’s conceptualization of time as a commodity has supported occupational therapy practice since its inception. This article discusses numerous contemporary media messages about time both because they are pervasive and because their meaning often escapes us. Popular magazines, greeting cards, and cartoons weave themes about time into the fabric of other messages. There is remarkable coherence in the themes that cut across these three sources of time messages. Commercial images reveal the ideas that we are asked to accept about time; satirical images ask us to reflect about the ideas that we have accepted. A preponderance of images suggest that we control time and live in style. These suggestions constitute a cultural force that shapes personal values toward an end that we rarely consider. Occupational therapists need to recognize the presence and power of media images that radically challenge the meaning of living a satisfying life.

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