Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the influence of income

I came across this quote the other night.

At first glance, I thought it was rubbish. But after re-reading it a few times, I came to appreciate what was being said. And I now think it has some value, or at least some truth relevant today.

"Income is more powerful than any ideology or religion in shaping lives. No God has commanded worshippers to their pious duties more forcefully than income as it subtly directs the fabric of our lives."

[Gregory Clark, "A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World"]

The ability to earn a living is a great thing, enabling us to be independent and self sufficient. But it is sad to think that income may be more powerful than gospel principles in shaping our lives. Where we live, how much time we spend with family or friends, etc are usually results of our decisions regarding our work and income.

I spend a lot of my time in the office, and that time will only increase over the years I am sure.
I just listened to various panel discussions yesterday for International Womens Day at work, spoken by women lawyers and partners at the firm I work for.
It was inspiring and encouraging to hear just how far women's rights have come over the past century, yet sad to hear that these women expected much more equality in the home by .. being able to work long hours .. travel with work if they wished .. leaving their husbands to pick up the slack in the home.

I am all for breaking glass ceilings and marching up the professional ladder, if that is what you want, and trying to have both parents working and developing in their respective professions, but to sacrifice home and family time for income and career, when it is not necessary?

Is that not too much sacrifice? What is really shaping our lives?

Perhaps the line between having priorities out of whack and having a healthy balance in life is a thin one.
That quote sure did get me thinking ..

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