We’ve all heard the saying “time is money,” right? It’s a Benjamin Franklin statement that gets bandied about but deserves further consideration. After all, what if it is true?
Think about the overall growth in wealth we’ve experienced as a society. Go back to the industrial revolution. Every one of the inventions that shifted the production of necessary goods from the hands of crofters and farmers to the factory liberated a chunk of time from that process. Dresses stopped taking three people a month to make and started taking one person a week to make. (I’m making these numbers up. The time decreased, I have no idea what the reality-based stats are.)
Every invention, every bit of progress involves liberating time. Vacuum cleaners: the end result was time. Computers and automation: time. Cars: time. Airplanes: time.
When you go to work, you’re trading time for money, but time is the real currency. We are all given hours, no matter the circumstances of our births. In fact, it might be the one resource distributed more or less equally… Okay, the flaw in that argument is the health risks associated with poverty, the increased violence experienced in the African American community, preventable diseases in third world countries, etc. It isn’t a perfect argument, just a perspective to consider…When one generation passes down an inheritance, what they’re really sending forward is time.
It is an idiosyncratic currency, to be fair. But maybe dollars also mean different things to different people. Anyway, it is just something to think about.