Time, priceless time

By Wayne Muller taken from Forbes

In Commerce, we trade time for money. Our time is converted into labor, productivity, output and profit. Whenever we can, we find new, innovative methods for leveraging time into cash.

But in the tender country of illness and divorce, we are suddenly desperate to trade money for time. We pay lawyers colossal fees to guarantee an extra day or two of custodial time with our children. We eagerly employ teams of physicians to increase the possibility six additional months of life.

"Time is Money," we learned early in our professions. But the equation is flawed. ...

Time is not money. Time and money are two enzymes that serve very specific functions in our life, and confusing the two can bring us great suffering.

Money traded in the marketplace purchases basic goods and services we cannot provide for ourselves. But how much time should we trade for this money? How do we know when we do not have enough time? The question is rarely asked, and when it is, it is often too late.

People who have a lot of money and no time we call "rich". People who have a great deal of time but no money we call "poor". Yet the most precious gifts of a human life-love, friendship, time with children and loved ones-grow only in the sweet soil of "unproductive" time.

Adolescents who spend leisure time with their families become less prone to heavy drinking.  The less time parents hang out with their kids, the more likely teenagers will develop alcohol problems.

The problem is not simply that we work too much, but that we are paid in the wrong currency. We must be wise enough to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's. What if genuine wealth is fruitful marriage of both time and money, combining material security with those priceless things that grow only in time -time to walk in the park, to read a book, to dance, to put our hands in the garden, to cook meals with friends, to paint, to sing, to mediate, to keep a journal?

This article inspires me to take the time to take family vacations to places like Mammoth and to keep my priorities in correct order.