There are hardly two more critical determinants in selling joy than space and time. When we’re crowded for either, we are soon frustrated, yet when we have an abundance of either or both, life livens up and we free our arms. Comprehension of this fact can very simply help us live better.
It might help to illustrate:
On your last day of annual leave, preparing your bags and things for work the next day, you realise something in your experience of time. It makes you mourn for better times just had if you’ll let it. The start of the holiday or pleasant memories, for instance. Additionally, you live in a palatial five-bed, three-bath house, but due to circumstances beyond your control you are forced to move into a three-bed home—without any hope of that bigger home in the near future because finances are scratchy. Interacting as a family or even with one other person can bring issues and egos into collision, and cataclysmically at that.
For some, space is more important that time. For others, the reverse applies. It’s an individual thing.
Of course, space is much more than simply physical space and time is much more than linear time. Roget’s Thesaurus shows us the vastness of these concepts.
Nevertheless, space and time so very visibly determine our happiness; our sense of contentment. They dictate our inbuilt hope; if we have plenty of space and time to operate from there is less friction and thus reduced potential for frustration, and the emotions that spill over like anger, disgust and the like.
It’s important to know this, for many people search high and low for riches and fame and other nebulous things that have nothing at all to do with true happiness and contentment. The weird thing is we all tend to know we’re on the wrong track, yet we persist in our madness.
The true way of happiness and contentment is to buy for ourselves space and time, and both of those in commensurate portions and vagaries of our particular personalities, so they’re styled to fit us and to facilitate in part the fulfilment of our potential. Maslow called it self-actualisation toward personal transcendence.
We do not buy space and time for ourselves with money or any material thing. We simply design our lives such that we have the sort of space and time we need, and if appropriate and available, the space and time we want.
Important qualifier: it is critical that we shun a dependence on possessing anything. As a total paradox to what I’ve said above, we must be able to live without both space and time (if it’s not available) for indefinite periods—if we can’t do this life becomes hopeless for us. Developing this sense of spiritual resilience is such a valuable thing.
I did say “selling” joy earlier. This might have confused you. I meant by it that the natural product of being joyful (full of inner happiness and contentment) is that we create it in others; we sell it—and freely at that. We’re purveyors of joy; that’s the intent. It becomes a natural part of our disposition toward life.
If not for this, what then is life about?
In summary, there are two things to achieve:
1. Design a life, personally and beyond to family etc, that caters for our needs (and also if possible our wants) around space and time.
2. One of the biggest, most foolish traps in life is the tendency to want to possess things, for instance, space and time. If we avoid this temptation we’re well on our way to controlling our environments and achieving true inner happiness and contentment, which then spills over into others’ lives.
To be truly content, rigorously oppose the desire of possessing things in your life, be they people, space, time or anything else.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.