My sister raises money for charity from time to time. In her home town, a rich commuter suburb, she arranged a charity showing of a yet-to-be released film. Though she almost sold out, not many people actually came to the film. They had more money than time. They want to give but not to do.
I’ve heard the same thing from various voluntary groups. With a bit of common sense it’s easy to raise money. The hard part is finding people- more volunteers, more people to do things.
When people have more money than time what does it mean?
It means you should sell time!
Initially this was done through selling time saving devices- dishwashers spring to mind especially for some reason.
But now we have an infinite amount of claims on our time. It’s called the net. Every waking moment can be filled when you sit plugged into the world behind your computer screen. You can work and play to your heart’s content.
This means that, as of about five years ago, you WILL NEVER AGAIN HAVE ENOUGH TIME.
So rather than be in a perpetual angst ridden rush until the end of your days it makes sense to start timeshifting.
Timeshifting is to time what exercise and a sensible diet is to certain Pacific Islanders. In the past they had little food and had to do a lot- so they ate everything they could. That same strategy has turned many of them into giant lardasses in the present abundant world they live in.
In the past we had less things to do, less claims on our attention, TV that went off at midnight and no internet. All that free time is just …gone.
Timeshifting often means MOVING temporarily someplace that has no internet- for example going on a walk- so that during that brief period you are experiencing time as you used to, without competing claims.
Deeper timeshifting means altering the way you look at your life. Life shouldn’t look like one damn thing after another.
My guess is we need to limit not just how much information we take in (turn off the TV, stop surfing the news headlines), but also how much we can POTENTIALLY take in. We do this through being in an environment that, temporarily, turns its back on outside information. When you go skiing don’t take the blackberry and text people at home, don't check the cricket results as you wait for the ski-lift. Grow your own small-group-feeling instead. Try to get a GANG together that has its own mythology and group purpose that does not rely on being plugged into the giant nipple of sky sport, sky news, the world wide web or your phone contact list.
For fans of EM Forster: Only disconnect.