Download Life Begins at Forty - Walter B. Pitkin PDF

TitleLife Begins at Forty - Walter B. Pitkin
File Size16.8 MB
Total Pages183
Table of Contents
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Document Text Contents
Page 1

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Page 2

Estate of George D.Bloc

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Page 91

Qhapter V

PLAY AFTER FORTY

Father w1lliam is blood brother of your

old Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam's entire family

incessantly stand on their heads when they try

to play after forty. They turn work into false

play and play into false work. Their whole art of

living is topsy-turvy. It is poisoned with all

of the Million American Myths, such as the

ideas that "time is money," "happiness is found

only in service," "a man finds his highest self-

realization in his work," and "it's dangerous to

let down after forty."

I shall not bore you with diatribes against

such notions. But a few remarks must be passed,

in an unkind spirit, so that we may gain a clearer

view of play after forty. And, first of all, let us

look at the old idea that "time is money."

Of all the stupid adages which clutter the

copybooks, the stupidest is the one which says

that "time is money." It is the blackest lie ever

mouthed. Time isn't money. It never can be

reduced to money. It is the dimension within

which money is created and used. Yes, and even

85

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Page 92

LIFE BEGINS AT FORTY

more: time is life—or, at least, the essence of

living.

Everybody comes into the world with a certain

chance of acquiring a working capital of a round

half million. Half million what? Half million

hours, of course. They will be on hand, ready

for investment, as fast as the new-born promoter

crawls from his cradle and toddles forth to meet

the dawn. They will be paid in full if he is skillful

enough and lucky enough to stick around until he

turns the mossy corner of three score years

and ten.

He cannot give away his minutes. He cannot

borrow minutes from a friend. He cannot steal

minutes. Money is a mere medium of exchange.

Time is neither a medium nor is it exchangeable.

It is the inmost stuff of life itself.

On this whole subject wiser words have never

been spoken than by the anonymous writer on

"The Penny and the Gingerbread."1 Hearken

to him:

The solution of the personal money question lies

neither in saving nor in not saving; the true solution

is to forget money utterly and to concentrate all one's

thought and energy upon the wise spending of time,

upon that chosen work which seems interesting and

important regardless of reward ... If the spending

of time is handled with common sense, the smaller

problem—the money question—which is inescapably

involved in it, will be settled at the same moment.

1 An article in Harper's, October, 1928.

86

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Page 182

f

! YC116322

THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY

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Page 183

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