The Price You Pay: Part I

We’ve been duped. And we don’t want to be unduped. Everything has a price, or so we say… Time is precious, or so we say…. Understanding the truth of these things takes a little investigation and a lot of heart.

So lend me your ear and your heart – this investigation is about the price we pay for time.

We all believe that time is our prime commodity. The way we spend our time creates our economy, our society, our culture, and our history – both personal, and collective. “Time well spent” is a phrase we are all familiar with. Who hasn’t wished for more hours in a day? Who doesn’t want more control over how to use the time allotted to them?

Adding minutes or even hours of precious time to our day is a worthy cause. As a species we have excelled over millennia at inventing ways to make slow things fast. That in turn freed up time to do other stuff, like make music and art, and create culture.
Traveling around the world used to take a year, now it takes a day. Finding and preparing enough food to eat used to take most of our waking time, now it’s just minutes a day.

Now we are “free” to work just 40 hours a week, and still have time to watch TV and be on social media 3-6 hours a day. Or whatever else we choose to do!

Everything is fast, and getting faster every day! We succeeded so well at squeezing more of a priceless commodity into our lives, we never thought to look at the actual cost. We succeeded so well at getting rid of the drudgery of everyday chores like cooking, we rarely stop to ask the question, “What price are we paying for this? How much is this really costing me?”

I am not recommending we go back to a time when things were harder! But I am proposing that time is not the only commodity we have. There is another that is just as precious, and may be even more priceless than time, because without it we can’t enjoy or use the time we have. This commodity is our health and our vitality.

Just as precious and priceless as our time is our health and vitality. Tweet this


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The truth is this. The precious minutes and hours we have gleaned from the time we would have spent cooking, or exercising, or sleeping, have been paid for with our health. We didn’t know that would be the price. It was a “hidden cost” buried in our hurried quest for more freedom. But the results are in – rates of degenerative disease and chronic illness caused by lifestyle are rising.
Do you want to deal with the data? Or do you want to stay duped and pay later? We may live longer, but how many of those hours, days, or years will be spent in doctor’s offices and hospitals, or worse, nursing homes?

These are serious questions that need to be asked sooner rather than later. We have made the big assumption that any gain in time is worth it’s weight in gold, and therefore worth any price. But if that price means our collective health is so compromised that our kids’ kids have less time on this earth than we do, where’s the freedom in that?