Reading for Class

This is a part of my reading for tomorrow’s class. It’s after the author describes how the world adapted economic models post World War II so that everything that was done essentially contributed to a nation’s economic strength. Wealth was measured in terms of goods and services, but not quite immaterial things. Services like creating weapons or being a soldier or a law enforcement officer counted while cooking dinner for your kids or cleaning up after your kids or working in your garden didn’t.

In short, we have converted destruction into an economic good. But anything that grows without money changing hands–parents who care for their children, people who voluntarily care for the sick, the dying, or the homeless, people who pray or meditate or walk in the woods–these, at best, have no value. At worst, they take away precious time and energy that could be used to grow the G.D.P.

…During Sabbath we stop counting…During Sabbath, things that grow in time are honored at least as much as those things we would buy and sell. At rest, we can take deeper measure of our true wealth. If we do not rest, if we do not taste and eat and serve and teach and pray and give thanks and do all those things that grow only in time, we will become more impoverished than we will ever know.

From “Why Time Is Not Money” in Wayne Muller’s Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest

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