Our most precious commodity. It cannot be banked, earned, accumulated or otherwise created. We can only spend it, and the supply, by its very nature, is limited. There will never be more and there will always be less. It cannot be refunded, gifted, and it does not discriminate – ever. Everyone is equal. It is in fact the only real truth left in our world. Time – the ultimate currency; the most valuable resource any of us have, and we all are running out of it.
It finally struck me yesterday while struggling through the final review of the year’s tax returns – it is not a money issue, it is a time issue. Yes, I am a tax curmudgeon – I freely admit it. It is not a question of how much, what bracket, government spending or programs – I just hate all taxes as a matter of principle. I get it, I pay them, I understand the whys, believe and accept that to some degree is it needed, but I still do not like it. The above said, I never really knew why it upset me on such a core level. Now I do – it is the time issue.
Taking my money is one thing, but taking my time – that is an entirely different issue. I have been fortunate in some years to be considered “wealthy”, while in other years I have been firmly “middle class”, and believe me I remember very clearly being much less than that – much less. Regardless of bracket or earnings, profession or location, a fair accounting shows that on average, 30% of everyone’s gross income is taken in some form of taxation. To earn takes effort, and efforts take time. With age comes insight, or maybe wisdom. The ability to see that not by choice but by mandate, almost a third of all our efforts, and thus a third of all our time, goes to someone else.
My most precious commodity is being taken from me. Again, to be clear, I get it – I pay and I move on – not happy, but compliant. Sort of like taking bad tasting medicine – you choke it down because you have too, it is the rules. With all of the posturing and talk of budgets and spending, debts and taxes, the thought keeps returning…it is not about the money. It is a time issue. I can always make, find, save, withdraw, borrow, or otherwise find more money, but never can I make up the time.
Think about it for a brief moment – 2011 is not even yours yet.