Writer Tim Krieder offers a bracing and insightful rebuttal to the idea that we should measure our lives by how busy and productive we are:
My own resolute idleness has mostly been a luxury rather than a virtue, but I did make a conscious decision, a long time ago, to choose time over money, since I’ve always understood that the best investment of my limited time on earth was to spend it with people I love.
Naturally, as a person who has long valued time over money, he is singing my favorite hymn. But I am convinced that changing the way we value time and money (and how we spend our time; I prefer outdoors, with people, away from the electronic assault), is the key to reinventing not only how we live and seek happiness, but how human culture impacts the Earth. The current formula–work, earn, consume–is a disaster for the planet and doesn’t deliver happiness. A different approach that values time over money, nature and outdoor activity over manufactured entertainment, and personal relationships over consumption, I think, would go a long way toward bringing humanity into balance with the planet. Throw in an emphasis on compassion, tolerance, and selflessness, and you start to imagine a wholly different, and wholly more appealing, future.