Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Engines of Life

Engines of Life

Everyday I ask myself the question: Have I been using my time productively? When it comes to time, we are all born equal--all of us get a daily wage of 24 hours a day. The only difference is that some people can do so much with the 24 hours allocated, others just waste them away.

And what exactly do I mean by being productive? Does it mean that we always have to be thinking how to translate time into money?

Yes and no. Money can be one measure of one's productivity, but that's just one aspect of it. Even when time is efficiently translated into money, it is still in an intermediate form and has not realised its full potential yet. We have only managed to transform one transient resource--time--into a slightly more durable form: money. But money is only meaningful when it is used to set things into motion.

To me being productive means that we are constantly using our resources to make things happen, creating something out of nothing, making a positive difference on our immediate surrounding. Sometimes we can even do that without the aid of money.

You see, all of us live within a series of concentric circles. Forming an immediate circle around us are our family members and loved ones. Beyond that comes our circles of friends, colleagues and casual acquaintances. Our influence also radiates out to a certain degree into the larger circles of our neighbourhood, city, country and the world at large.

We are all little suns within our own private planetary systems. We are the sources of energy feeding into an ecosystem of life. We are given a a daily fuel tank of 24 hours. How we use it is up to us. We can burn it all up and lose everything as random heat or we can turn ourselves into engines that power families and communities.

We can be a very closed system--choosing to use our resources to feed ourselves by satiating our egos and senses. Or we can choose to be radiant suns--feeding our energy into our surrounding, enabling life, growth and transformation. The choice is ours to make.

Our fuel tanks are topped up every day. Let's start the engine.

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