It's just a thing...

I read something the other day about someone’s daughter who had their bicycle stolen, and it struck a chord with me. As always, some commenter chimed up about it being ‘only a bike’ and said that the OP should shrug it off. That’s not what got me though.

Someone followed up with a comment about the fact that the money that those of us who work honest jobs for a living make is a crystallized version of time. We work a certain length of time to make a certain amount of money, which we then use to be able to buy something.

So sure, it’s a bike, and it’s been stolen - it’s just a thing, and you’ll get over that. But what if the thief kidnapped you and held you hostage for the amount of time that it took to earn that bike and made you do forced labour? How many months earnings did your bike cost you? Would you work that amount of time for free at the end of a knife or a gun?

How is stealing the result of your time and labour any different to stealing the time itself?

You can never get time back. Every minute that you spend working towards something is time that is gone forever. Every moment that passes takes you one step closer to death. I often think that is why, as adults, we are so able to ignore the wonders of the world; we’d never agree to be wage slaves if we couldn’t delude ourselves into thinking that the world is an ordinary place.

Why are we so eager to justify and accept this phenomenon as a part of our lives?

sad but true…
it took us hours of walking, a few hundred pound(200 on bus passes) spent and several nights to restore it after being stolen…forgot to mention the time it took to raise the money to buy it in the first place!! and someone just took it one day…just like that…
and no, it’s not just a thing…it’s the embodiment of pure joy( payed with time of our lives-like you said)
it seems only fair that thieves should pay by doing time, yet how often are they being caught?

It’s an interesting concept. Theives could do time for the actual amount of time their theft has effectively ‘stolen’ from society. In the case of the childs bike the equation might look something like this:

Time taken for parent to earn the money to be able to afford the bike over and above daily living costs…say one month

Ditto for earning enough to get the child a replacement bike…one month

Time taken for child to learn to ride said bike (a skill that would need to be relearnt once bike is replaced)…one month

Time taken for it to be Spring again and suitable weather for kids to ride bikes…six months

Time taken for child to recover from social stigma of not having a bike…a year

Hence…Sentence 21 months

If you take into account the fact the stolen bike has probably been sold to someone else whose child has had the benefit of using the bike, albeit illegitimately, then the sentence might be reduced. But since the bike has been recovered this would actually add to the sentence as the second child would also then be deprived of the bike.

Now if the item stolen was an apple…

then someone would be deprived of ingesting some fructose :)) and no one would give a damn…

The time/money theory has been around a while but it’s good to see it resurrected. I shouldn’t be forgotten.

First heard this from my father about…well, a while back. (I was still in Primary School.) It was his explanation about the real difference between the affluent and the working classes. Forget all about the baubles and trinkets, the toys and the houses. While fun, they are fripperies.

In essence, the affluent can afford to spend money to buy time while the working classes have to spend time either earning money or in endeavours to avoid spending money they possibly don’t have.

(That’s why we end up spending time doing our own decorating, cleaning our own bikes, etc.)

Unless you are particularly unlucky in life, money can be replaced, time cannot.