Get a Life


It has become increasingly obvious to me that many American adults today have no life. Legally, they may still be alive, but only at the most basic level of human existence, as hosts for the vampires of society. This situation allows very little time for a personal life. These adults are too busy catering to the whims, desires, demands, and needs of others to concern themselves with the truth regarding their own sorry existence.

They have been conditioned to think and believe that their primary mission in life is to make other people (and State agents) happy by supplying whatever is demanded of them ' anywhere, any time, for any reason, or none at all. These deluded slaves are everywhere; you probably know some of them.

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I teach my students that there are two competing items in life: time and money. Adults never seem to have enough of either and they exist at the opposite ends of life's balance beam. Just like in aircraft design, these items are tradeoffs, and gaining more of one normally results in losing some of the other. Control over either can be tenuous at best, but usually involves a conscious decision, however potentially misguided.

Unlike adults, students often have plenty of time, but little money. This can lead to all sorts of negative consequences, including boredom, wasting time, vandalism, drug use, crime sprees, arrests, court appearances, jail time, extreme risk-taking, injuries, and death. Peer pressure often prevails since adolescents rarely have a firm grasp on the concepts of free will and personal responsibility.

When parents succumb to their child's demands for more money, the child is suddenly free to engage in activities that previously were beyond their means, making the child happy. As any parent will tell you, this is not necessarily a good thing. It can also result in many of the negative consequences listed above, just on a higher level.

The longer this scenario continues, the more likely it becomes that the child will develop an unhealthy attitude of entitlement. The parent becomes a checkbook and their adolescent remains a child, never being allowed to grow up. The result is disastrous for both parent and child, not to mention society as a whole. These adults doom themselves to slavery, with a perpetual child as their master, often for decades after the child turns 18, and sometimes for life. This is a conscious decision, however misguided.

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Many adults will tell you that time is money, but they are mistaken. Money is a useful commodity that can be earned, saved, invested, wasted, stolen, lost, or exchanged for goods and services. Real money (gold and silver) also has intrinsic value, unlike worthless fiat paper currency.

Time is much more precious than any kind of money, but it is easily squandered by working for worthless money. Money is a convenient tool, but time is a priceless commodity because it cannot be purchased at any price. The amount of time available to individuals varies widely, often seeming to be arbitrary or unfair to mere mortals. All the more reason to treat time with the respect that it rightly deserves, I say. Given a choice, only a fool would choose worthless money over time, yet millions of adults do so daily. Why?

Adults cite many reasons for this, but few of them are defendable. State slavery, social conditioning, misplaced guilt, living beyond one's means, peer pressure, social status, family obligations, legal entanglements, rampant narcissism, and the incessant demands of spouses, children, relatives, friends, co-workers, and employers all factor into conscious decisions to choose worthless money over time. The net effect can produce extreme results, like juggling three jobs, never taking a vacation, staggering monthly bills, mountains of debt, and working into an early grave, just attempting to make ends meet.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with this lifestyle if freely chosen, but I would guess that the vast majority of individuals who find themselves in similar circumstances would admit that they feel trapped, are unable to escape, and are living a life in which death may seem preferable. Some people eventually realize the futility of their situation and take the easy way out by eating their gun. Once again, these are conscious decisions, however misguided.

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Even if you only spend 1/3 of your adult life working and another 1/3 sleeping, how much time does that leave for you? Not much, after you deduct all of the other activities that keep you from doing what you really want to do: get a life.

Deduct a half-hour per day for personal hygiene and grooming, a half-hour for running errands, an hour for eating, an hour for reading and replying to personal email, and an hour doing various things for other people; you are left with four hours per day for yourself.

Of course, if you also have children, work two jobs, or commute two hours per day, you are out of luck. Maybe someday you would like to watch the news, or an entire movie, or even a football game. Too bad, there are not enough hours in the day. So, what do you do? You stay up late at night to watch whatever you taped last week, when you finally find the time. This is your life?

What about the rest of your time-burners? Carting children to multiple activities, attending their games, donating your time for their fundraisers, PTA meetings, church, school, jury duty, standing in line at the DMV, getting a flat tire repaired, changing the oil, cleaning the garage, cutting the grass, shopping for food, paying bills, doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning the house, buying new clothes, and attending the obligatory social, civic, and professional functions at the behest of others; they all eat away at your few minutes of personal time per day.

Note that I haven't included any time lost to illnesses, hangovers, trips to the doctor, accidents, emergencies, acts of God, inclement weather, dead batteries, misplaced keys, traffic jams, speeding tickets, traffic court, funerals, or the like.

Hobbies? Who has the time?

Sex? That usually requires two people to be in the same place at the same time! Two conflicting schedules are too difficult for many people to resolve today, even when they are married to each other. Often, sex is the first thing to go. These slaves are too busy, frequently exhausted, and not getting enough sleep to even think about regular sessions of passion with their partner, let alone doing whatever it takes to make them happen.

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Thoreau was right: Simplify, simplify. Your life is your own. If you don't currently have a life, get one.

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Joe Blow is a privacy advocate with proven subspecialties in strategic planning.  Note: Pirate Poop is now a free newsletter, available by email only. Send all subscription requests to