20 October 2011

Wealth vs Time and Our Leased Lives

It is probably an observation many others have made, the correlation between wealth and time. That being that the more wealth you have the less time you seem to have. Sounds crazy but let me explain.

I have observed wealthy people with very little time, their time being spent accumulating or attempting to accumulate wealth. I have observed the inverse as well, where there is a lot of idle time and not a lot of wealth. I'm not saying either is bad or good, I am saying that both are in limited supply. The more wealth one accumulates the less time one seems to have, the purchases become bigger, but time is not what I'd call in abundance.

I've got close friends in both categories.

On the one had, one is quite wealthy, very successful and nearly everything he touches turns to a pot of gold so to speak. However when we talk he's always complaining that he never seems to have enough time to do the things he wants to do. His time always eaten by his responsibilities, his focus called upon to maintain momentum and so on.

On the other hand, one is not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, he gets by but seems to always be in a situation where he believes if he just had more money then he'd be able to do what he wants to do. He has plenty of time, in fact he has the time to do about anything that suits his fancy, provided it isn't expensive.

I think in the end the real trick isn't sacrificing time for wealth, but rather finding the balance between the two or perhaps searching down the path of less is more. Time spent that is memorable and gratifying is time well spent indeed. Consider, both time and wealth are spent, one results in memories that last a life time, the other results in items or material, to an extent experiences too I guess. These things also play a part in memories. As tangled as it seems it becomes a matter of perspective.

More wealth can be made, but it certainly seems to me to be harder to make more time. I'm fast approaching the time is better than wealth perspective.

So what should one do? In our society it seems wealth is a requirement, is it? We use it to secure shelter, food, security, clean water, education, also for materials, items, and so on. Does it buy happiness? I'm not convinced of that, I am convinced that it buys distractions.

I believe we've turned society into our Warden, that we've turned civilization into the prison, that we are not so free as we believe, and to hide from this fact we distract ourselves through wealth. We're all just lengthening shadows cast by a sinking Sun. Mortal. I think we hide from this reality, or hide this reality from ourselves through our endless never ending craving of distractions.

To chase these distractions we pursue wealth, it enables us to perpetuate the distraction. Remove the distractions, realize we're mortal, live with this knowledge and would it change the way we live? I think so. Would we speak to each other differently? Think of and treat our children or loved ones differently? Treat ourselves differently? Yes, I think we would. Instead we hide our mortality, and thus believe we hide our flaws.

Somewhere along the way I'm pretty sure we made a wrong turn. Established ourselves as willing slaves to a grind we believe equals freedom when in reality it isn't all that different from indentured servitude. We trade our time for a wage, for money, for wealth, then give that back in order to survive. Ultimately that equals ownership. If your time is owned by another, how is that freedom? The real trick played upon us all, was making us believe, that we're in control and have chosen this course. Have we really? No matter the where or the how, our civilization has become one where you must allow another to own your time, in exchange you are given pieces of paper that ultimately you must return to the very entities that own your time. How is this not leasing your life to another?

In the end what does wealth spent mean when you pass the veil? I don't really think it matters much.
In the end what does time spent mean when you pass the veil? I think maybe, it matters a whole lot.


  1. Ultimately, I believe that we HAVE chosen our path, simply because we're foolish enough to believe Madison Avenue's mantra that "too much is never enough." Our economic slavery is what makes THEM rich.

  2. I think you’re right on with this one Croa. I think constantly on how to break out of this prison. Move up north and work with my hands. At least you can create something instead of working in offices and killing me with stress.