What Money Can't Buy?

I’ve spent the past few weeks thinking more about money then I’d like to. Sifting through investment papers, researching home loans and meeting with my financial advisor has left me a little overwhelmed with the whole process. I normally don’t worry a lot about money. I mean I have more than enough to get by and I tend to operate with the equation- save some, give some and spend some (yea, yea I know some financially savvy person would advise me to have some percent breakdown to give my so-called equation some validity, but just go with me)

Somewhere in the process of looking at interest rates and investment opportunities, I realized how easy it is to get caught up in the whirlwind of the American dream; believing if I only had this much more than I could afford_______ (insert any desired item or upgrade here). It always amazes (slash disgusts) me how quickly I feel entitled to the luxuries and conveniences that I have in my country, and yet I so quickly forget those whose entire livelihood is defined by extreme poverty and injustice. Today I sat in an office and tried to deicide Hmm, should I go with portfolio I or portfolio II? and yet in the same world at that very moment, a refugee in Pakistan has to wonder if he will find clean drinking water. The inequality just doesn’t sit well.

And then I started thinking, what can’t money buy?

Money can’t buy…

laughter and late night talks with girlfriends.

simple flowers cut from your own garden.

an afternoon nap. or a good joke. or inner beauty.

the peace that God up there is so much more powerful than little me down here.

a run along the beach.

thoughtful words that bring hope to a hurting soul.

hand holding. or hugs.

or time.

Money cannot buy time.

I know this is not a brand new realization- it’s pretty clear that we all get an equal allotment- 24 hours each and every day, no more, no less. And yet so often I feel like we view the concept time through an investment metaphor. We view time as money. We use language like “I’ll invest my time here” or “How did you spend your time today?” or “Don’t waste your time on that” We make decisions and justify things as if time is ours to spend, “I have plenty of time” or “If I only had more time.”

Growing up I learned how to make the most of my time or to “use it well” so to speak. And there is nothing wrong with this per se- it leads to practical, efficient, multi-taskers like myself who somehow manage to get a lot done in short amounts of time : ) But sometimes I wonder what would happen if I went throughout my day and instead of viewing time as something to invest or control or utilize well, I viewed time as a gift to be received.

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