>I don’t consider Time to be an inflexible entity, and I don’t consider Money to be a given parameter under which we should measure ourselves. I’m not so deluded as to consider them merely philosophical concepts, but I do feel that we give ourselves over too freely to these yardsticks that people on the whole don’t like and have great difficulty managing. This is especially ironic as they are both literally ‘made up’ ideas that mankind has devised and developed to assist our progress as civilized brings.
The interwoven fabric of society rests delicately upon things happening ‘on time’, as if most of modern civilisation would crumble into disrepair and if work didn’t start at 9am and people didn’t lunch between 12 and 2. I always roll my eyes when I hear another report being summarised on the radio about some university or think tank which estimates the amount of money lost because of lateness or sick days, or the World Cup or Coronation St starting 10 minutes earlier. It’s always some astonishing figure, in the millions or billions, that the ‘Country’ or ‘Economy’ has lost as a result of people’s inconsideration.
I roll my eyes because, to me, it’s the equivalent of a freelance person, whatever they do, narrowing their life down to their hourly rate.
If they get £10 per hour, then they’ll get £80 for an 8hr day. But, if they work only another hour then they’ll get £90. Well, in that case, why not start an hour earlier, then it’d be £100 per day. That’s £500 per week, £2000 per month. For 10 hours per day. But, wait a minute, what about the other 14 hours in the day? 14 wasted hours. 14 extra hours at £10 would be another £140 per day, £700 per week, £2400 per month! How can they be so lazy as to lose themselves (and cost the Economy let’s not forget) all of that money?!
Ridiculous, I know, but it’s a genuine hypothesis and all comes back to the notion of maximising output. To what end, no-one ever tells you. But it would come down to balance of payment, deficit reduction, investment in services etc. No-one ever takes the audit book to the councils and government and makes them answerable to anyone. Capitalism and control of the masses, or Socialism and governance by the masses?
I feel that we are so indoctrinated to the notion of money=happiness, even those wiser folk among us, that we feel a pang of terror when we’re guilty of not making as much money as we can. I think of occasions like not getting the best price when selling a car, missing a few percent on the re-mortgage, paying someone to do some work in the house instead of doing it yourself. All of these things can rankle and dig away at you when you calculate up the losses and come up with two, three or even four figure numbers and then spend the rest of the week chiding yourself for wasting such precious loot.
But, no. This is all wrong and we know it. Time is the most precious resource we have, even if you have trouble with the overall premise of time as a measurement, it is still illustrative of the moments we have to enjoy the world around us and the things that we have decided make us happy. Money is only there, in any real sense, to create time for us to enjoy ourselves, or to gain us the things that we believe we bring us joy. If you remove money from the equation then you are still left with the same dreams and aspirations, except you won’t suddenly need money to ‘fix’ or overcome the lack of money that’s causing you pain.
I don’t believe for one second that you will succeed in changing your life to one where money is completely unimportant, because it will remain important for too many other people. It’s why we still chop down rain forests and pollute the skies and oceans, because to stop doing it would cost people money. However, there is an argument which says that to stop believing money will answer all of your problems will make you appreciate not only the things that you do have, but it will also make you look around for other, more achievable ways, to gain satisfaction in your life.
I guess I’m talking about nature, literature, people, sunsets, art, food and whatever else is making us happy.