That which is presupposed by action is hard to get at when conceived in its generality which has to be the case in order to conceive it apriori. To meditate on ends or means without meditating on anything in particular in either category is simply to meditate on the necessary structured pregnancy of the concept of action. There is a necessary skeletal shape to any action and it involves ends, means, values, preferences, choices, time. Before moving on to cost, loss, profit and then to some considerations about the role of coercion in altering the analysis we rest on time for one more post.
In the present are some means. The future is a bounty of possible investment and capital formation. One of the things I regularly sermonize on with my students, when the moment is right, is on how to handle time psychologically. I do not claim sage status, but some experience with time. Here is what I have found.
Time experienced while “enjoying” (in union with what is desired) flies.
Time experienced while in union with what is averred slows to a crawl.
Oh reader! How our nature must be understood and employed relative to its animal temptation. We are so effected by feeling (enjoyment, despair).
I constantly say to my students, “I wish I could meet you in 10 years. That is enough time to build capital. That is enough time to organize yourself, invest, work, stay focused and build. Then the wheat will be separated from the chaff.” Oh, there will be accidents. There will be uncontrollable tragedy. But there will also be determined, focused concentration of energy and profligate distracted wasting of energy. And the results over 10 years are worth noting.
A day? A week? A month? Even a year? Not enough time. Don’t look at the clock. Focus. Looking at the clock is a matter of displaying the desire to be away from the work which is not enjoyed. It is evidence of distraction. Listen, time is to be harnessed. It is up to you and I. The same time, objectively, is put to different use by the agent. The same minutes might be allocated to two actors. And assume similar means. What will be done?
What I have found is that there is room in time. There is room for investing, labor, saving. There is even more room than is realized. Because much is in the use of that time. Much is in finding enjoyment without spending. Much is in patiently working, patiently saving, and then patient allocation to investing. Much is in patiently waiting while investments mature.
All the time he has a nicer car. She has a bigger house. He has more prestige. She has a better position. Forget it. It is distraction. What you have is finite and scarce means and time. How will you employ them? How will I? Ok, here I go. You who have read Puritanical Libertarian for any time know what is coming.
First, invest in virtue (patience and endurance continue to rise in my estimation but the goal is temperance and courage).
Second, once virtue capital begins to build, attract association with a few (I call this first marriage, then friends). Humans are attracted to virtue, and he who overlooks it for superficial beauty is inviting catastrophe.
Third, invest in earthly good together. This is a matter of hard work, minimal consumption and saving.
This is the good life.
The moments are ticking. Time is relentless. But it can be spent moaning and lamenting what is not or it can be spent focused on making and saving. The choice is yours and mine. Join me in the invisible church of good will where membership is determined by the divine and where any who are members find themselves among the best of company. I hope to see you there…but that will only be if I am allowed in. To work!