Time Is Greater Than Money

Finnish government is investing into new student loan benefits (hurray the land of subventions!) in order to make students graduate in target schedule (Kela newspaper, October 2014). The goal of keeping the schedule, not losing time, must be very important, because it is wise to invest money in it, in a situation where government debt is reaching 100 Billion euros. 

You’d likely been engaged in criminal activity or worse, you could have just spent time!

I once was a student who took everything very seriously. I was convinced that my life would have better odds if I stayed in schedule, or better, ahead of it. I started to optimize: collect the full amount of courses available; get up earlier to study before classes; work full time during summers and ignore holidays. I also knew to respect the demands of King CV, the Run of Life. The main rule was not to allow one’s self to develop any inexplicable blank spots in the resume (apparently this might scare the employer; you’d likely been engaged in criminal activity or worse, you could have just spent time!).

Later on, the truth slowly unveils: I have been played. Punked by society. The time didn’t go in a bank. It was only spent. If our lives were continuously captured to a database (to some extent they already are!) each moment would have a timestamp as the unique identifier. We fool our professional selves with time banks that enable over-time to be saved for later use – but not moments. The attributes that were linked to that unique time stamp – the sun, the smile, the scent – they don’t go in a bank. 

Slowing down is what we desperately need to do to make wise decisions.

And money is not time in a concentrated form. Money is a measuring unit for value exchange in our economy. It’s a means to proportion the favours we do to each other during our awaken moments. And when we say time is money we subject one of the greatest gifts and mysteries of life to a simple man-made metric.

A tweeted wisdom said that limitations make us more creative. The limitations are abundant but time is the mother of them. So rebel my friends. Rebel and take a break! The real question with efficiency is not how we increase clock speed, it’s how do any of us know how to slow down anymore. Because slowing down is what we desperately need to do to make wise decisions. The first being how to direct our time.

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