With pride, we can pull up our account balances to look at how much wealth we’ve accumulated. We can survey our estates and list out our accomplishments, to revel in what we’ve purchased and earned. But is there a way or a place to track what all this has cost us? That is much harder to do, and pride rarely results from it.
Seneca was constantly pointing this out, especially in regards to the most precious resource we have: Time. Stop, he advised, and “reckon how much of your time has been taken up by a money-lender, how much by a mistress, a patron, a client, quarreling with your wife, punishing your slaves, dashing about the city on your social obligations…”
Suddenly, you don’t feel so rich do you? In fact, you look a little bit like a mark. You’ve been conned and robbed and had your pocket picked. Not a few times but constantly. Worse, you allowed it to happen!
No one is rich enough to sustain this very long. Each of us is on this planet for an uncertain but finite period. You’re going to let them take from this small pile of minutes and hours with impunity? You’re going to leave the safe unlocked? Leave the door wide open? And for what?
Soon you will be broke and dying…and you will rue the day you allowed yourself to be so abused.