“First say to yourself what you would be: and then do what you have to do.”—Epictitus
[Previously spotlighted quotes]
Time Is Money (not)I have work to do. But I’m waiting. It’s been overcast and rainy, and my solar panels have not kept up with my time on the computer, so now I need to give them the time they need to catch up with me. I sit. I’m reading a beautiful book, a memorial to John Lennon. (Imagine!) I glance out the window and admire the stark beauty of the thunderheads building against the rich blue background of high desert sky. Time is money, I think. And then some other part of my brain pipes up and says, “WHAT???” I sit up a bit straighter and try and figure out what just happened.
I have at my hands a bit of reality. The sky is beautiful; it’s quiet. There was a small herd of elk grazing outside my window last night that blew me away. Three mothers and two children; the mothers grazed while the children settled themselves down to rest in the tall grass. After a bit, they moved on. Time is Money. “What?”
What is time, to the elk? Last week I happened across the statement, “There will never be a time when it is not now.” Hugh Prather wrote that. I have no idea who Hugh Prather is, but he has changed my world in some way. Time. Clouds. Elk. Waiting for my solar power. It just is. It is what it is. Time is Money. What?
What can that mean? Time going by is an expense? But all I have is time. There is nothing else. When my time stops there can be no debt, for there will be no more time. Can debt exist in nothingness? No, of course not.
I glance outside as I notice the sky darkening. There goes my solar power, I recognize. Has time changed? Time is money. The clouds pass and I get more solar. Has time sped up? Maybe I need to consult with Einstein on this one. Does elk time speed up when the sun is shining and slow down when clouds intervene? I look outside. Yep, there it is, the world around me, just being. Everything is just as it should be. I hear a rifle crack. It’s elk season.
In St. Paul, at the Republican convention, the riot police were herding people into cages. It’s ... “people” season? They’ve decided. They’ve decided who will be allowed to express his or her opinion, and who will be herded into cages. It’s the democratic way. Time is Money.
What IS money? It’s time. (t=m m=t)
The only way that I can figure time is money is if money is the measure of my life. The clouds pass overhead and I must stop and allow my batteries to rest, I can’t get done what I need to do to “make the money” I need to pay the taxes which are coming due. Time is Money. Taxes are due. Taxes are due regardless of the clouds. Taxes are due until the rifle crack ends time for this elk. Time is Money. Time is Life. So... Money is Life. Life is Money. ... Ah, there we have it. Money is life. I’m a commodity! Cool! I get it now.
Okay, so what we have here is that my life has a certain tax value. I must spew out taxes at a given rate, minimum. Otherwise I’m of no value. I’m a cash cow. Without my taxes the democratic machine will starve. We can’t have that. Democracy minus Money equals ...? What, freedom? Democracy minus Money equals no one to put people in cages for desiring to speak their opinions.
But I’m not spewing money, I’m sitting here while the sun and the clouds tease my solar panels. While I contemplate the elk and John Lennon (Imagine!) and revere the essence of simply being. I am not a cash cow. I’m an elk. I am. That is all. I don’t need any reason, I just am. My time is not money, my time is love. My time is life, the will to create each day and make it worth the gift of just being. I don’t owe you. You can’t take me. If you take me you have a shell, you don’t have my life. Life is a gift, and by definition, a gift can’t be taken, it can only be given.
Life is. Love is. There are no taxes due. Treasure yourself as the very special gift you are. Be not the gruel in another’s bowl, be the sun that warms his skin and charges his solar panels.
I am. That is all.
That is plenty. No taxes due.
I bid you peace and love and the warmth of the sun.