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Reflections: Money Can’t Buy You Time…

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“Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit (of hate) flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanish it  with a program, nor with a resolution.”  Robert F. Kennedy

Reflections: Money Can’t Buy You Time… Even a princely crown has its time..

An Interview with a Princess on her way to Samarra
Interviewer: Your highness, thank you for meeting with me on such short notice. The paper will convey its deepest gratitude in the obituary… Again, my condolences for your demise… I mean your loss.

Princess: It is well… I knew his highness, like each of us, would one day leave this world, but not so soon. It was rather sudden… He was healthy and happy and looking forward to our 35th anniversary. The rider from Samarra came for him sooner than we expected.  Death, like time, is the great equalizer… Even his abundant wealth couldn’t keep him here… It was time.

The Appointment in Samarra by W. Somerset Maugham
Death Speaks:
There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the marketplace, I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned, I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.”

Interviewer: I understand… What do you remember of your time together?

Princess:  Ahh, the memories are rich and deep. He was my only love, our beloved Prince… I was an indulgent and foolish girl in my father’s house. I had everything at my feet. My father raised Arabian horses and the King was his premier client. My mother was a junior member of the extended royal family and so her marriage was without the pain of poverty; though she suffered the pain of a philandering spouse…

I met the Prince at 12 and my father informed me I was to marry him at a certain age. I didn’t care. My girlfriends and I lived exciting and frivolous lives; traveling everywhere and learning about art, music, haute couture and the occasional lesson in fine dining… We met all the great artists and entertainers of the day; each meeting was a quixotic escapade into the world of artistic excess… In hindsight, I should have studied something in the arts; created something as a legacy for my children, my subjects, the kingdom…

Reflection: Money Can’t Buy You Time… An Arabian horse won’t do…

The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?”

Interviewer: What do you remember of your time with the Beloved Prince?

Princess:  Oh yes… I did digress… We married at 16 and he was a handsome man; tall and broad shouldered, chin length hair the shade of a lurking panther, with a square face and dark piercing eyes, the color of the darkest sapphires. He was a charming and passionate lover and, in the palace, he protected me from his domineering mother. We traveled the world and for each birthday, he bought me an Arabian horse; purchased directly from my father. It was a way of helping my parents, for he always asked for the most expensive horse… and  my father made sure to charge accordingly.

“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever…”   Isak Dinesen

Reflections: Money Can’t Buy You Time… An equestrian Faberge egg has its moment…

Interviewer: Did he spend time with the princesses?

Princess: Sadly, not enough time and neither did I… We traveled a lot you see, and when I didn’t produce a male child, his mother implored him to seek another consort. I used everything I learned from the great books, the Karma Sutra, the Neotantras,  and  more, to ensure my place was secure. He had no care for other women, though he did entertain a few when our travels wore me down… The princesses grew to accept our travels and we bought them toys and trinkets from around the world. But in retrospect, a mother’s loving presence would have been preferred… I regret that I can’t turn back the time lost.

Interviewer: What do you cherish most? More Below…

“Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely” Kay Lyons

Reflection: Money Can’t Buy You Time…  not even a beautiful Faberge egg

That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

Interviewer: What do you cherish most?

Princess: I look around me and I see the luxurious things we bought and enjoyed over a lifetime together. On that table sits a diamond and ruby studded Faberge egg we got in Russia. On the mantle rests the pure gold twin elephants with ivory tusks studded with precious stones; a gift from a wealthy Maharaja we met in India. My drawers are full of gold and diamond trinkets and my bed sheets are made from the finest Egyptian cotton and silk. Yet, I cannot sleep…

Granted, all of those things are beautiful, but they cannot compare with the hours we spent on the Riviera whispering sweet nothings to each other. They cannot replace the times we sat at the dinner table enjoying a meal with our children, my parents, the king, even his domineering mother… Most of all, I cherish the time we spent together. I wish we had more time to say goodbye; I wish we had more time to say I love you to our children, our family and friends and our loving pets; I wish we had time to sit and counsel our daughters on what they should value most … Time.  Time spent with family and friends; precious moments shared with those we love.

Interviewer: Do you wish you had more money or time?

Princess: Is that a rhetorical question? I must caution you, young man, to live life as if Samarra is around the corner; for money can’t buy you true love or extra time…

What are your thoughts? What do you wish you had more of? How do you spend your time? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from the  WP Daily Post: Do you wish you had more money or time?

Positive Motivation Tip: Spend your money and your time wisely; both are always in short supply…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos, princely crown, Arabian horse, Equestrian Faberge egg , and Madonna Lily Faberge egg via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

33 Comments leave one →
  1. 20/08/2011 1:27 am

    Wonderful. There’s a day coming when neither money nor time will concern us. But until that day, let us be good stewards of both.

    • 21/08/2011 2:47 am

      Amen and I believe that day will be a new dawn filled with promise… TY! 🙂

  2. 20/08/2011 3:47 am

    Some people say time is money and time waits for no man. People also talk about “spending time” as though it were a currency.
    and “Money can’t buy you happiness”

    When I had money I had no time. Now I have time I have no money.
    As I grow older I prefer to have the time to stand back and enjoy the simple things of life.

    • 21/08/2011 2:49 am

      “As I grow older I prefer to have the time to stand back and enjoy the simple things of life.” Excellent point and so true…
      As the years roll by, I see the blessings in having the time to be, do, see.
      TY! 🙂

  3. 20/08/2011 6:00 am

    This was an interesting juxtaposition of two stories. Nicely done.

    • 21/08/2011 2:50 am

      Thank you dear Tilly. Somerset M is one of my favorite British authors and this story is at the top of my list… so beautiful, yet so haunting and powerful. TY! 🙂

  4. 20/08/2011 6:27 am

    with extra time, i can be more creative

    • 21/08/2011 2:51 am

      Amen to that… and with creativity, the sky is the limit. TY! 🙂

  5. 20/08/2011 8:09 am

    I really enjoyed that…how very clever.
    As I have had 72 years I don’t want anymore so a bit o cash would go down well…
    A tarot reader told me I was going to win money between 10-17 August. I did UK lottery and lost £10.. umm something wrong there!

    • 21/08/2011 2:55 am

      Oh, you are so funny Ms. W… Such is the mystery of time and life… perhaps she got the dates wrong. Or maybe the message/lesson was to enjoy the money you have…. which is sorta a lottery really. TY! 😆

  6. 20/08/2011 8:42 am

    Another inspiring post. Life is a beautiful gift. It’s how we live it that matters in end. Money can get us comforts but it’s not the key to happiness or buy life itself. It’s nice to have money though as long as it does not control us.

    • 21/08/2011 2:58 am

      Yes, I agree with you. Money is not a bad thing… The Prince and the Princess enjoyed theirs…. What’s critically important is the underlying message conveyed… what we do with our time, what we regret… TY! 🙂

  7. 20/08/2011 9:45 am

    Food for thought. Time -of course is more precious- because it runs out for all of us and with more there is always the chance that the money will come-later. But- with enough money, one can live well, reducing stress-potentially eating and living healthier and doesn’t that buy extra time? 😉

    • 21/08/2011 3:07 am

      Food for thought, yes… TY! With enough money, we might, but it is not a guarantee… nothing is; especially time. TY! I hope all is going well with you and the case… I think of you and miss your blog posts. Sending you and yours hugs and blessings… 🙂

  8. 20/08/2011 9:59 am

    Truly a provoking post. Though money would help a lot, I would prefer having more time. Time to spend with loved ones, time to make the most out of live… extending moments.

    • 21/08/2011 3:11 am

      TY! I concur. I know that we all want abundant and fulfilled lives… where we want for nothing. However, when we boil it down to the very essence of life and look at what matters, even Midas or your garden variety billionaire would hesitate to choose money. 🙂

  9. 20/08/2011 10:01 am

    Wonderful, well written post, full of wisdom and food for thought. We tend to forget it, but none of us is guaranteed another day. We need to make the most of what we have. I guess the question in my mind right now, is how best to do that?


    • 21/08/2011 3:13 am

      How best to do that is a great question and that is also on my mind. We need to cherish the life we have, and as a friend said once, we need to act on the sense of urgency that each breath we take creates. TY! 🙂

  10. 20/08/2011 2:48 pm

    Time is our most valuable and irreplaceable commodity ~ a bank account which mandates daily withdrawals, prohibits deposits, and pays dividends when we spend it wisely.

    Money is just a unit of exchange.

    • 21/08/2011 3:16 am

      Well said…. and I like the daily mandates you ascribe to time… so apropos! TY! 🙂

  11. 20/08/2011 3:19 pm

    great quotation you are presenting:
    “Yesterday is a canceled check;
    tomorrow is a promissory note;
    today is the only cash you have –
    so spend it wisely” Kay Lyons

  12. 20/08/2011 5:53 pm

    I just wanted to let you know I posted a link to this article on my blog with a recommendation. Material this good should be shared.


  13. 20/08/2011 7:20 pm

    I wish I had a little more of both. Money, merely to replace what we lost by fighting the government – I’m not out to be a millionnaire!

    Time is just something I do not have enough of these days and I would love an extra hour in the day. Actually, make that an extra day in the week or week in the month! The whole of Saturday went on our monthly shopping. It is like time just disappears.

    Lovely post, E.

    • 21/08/2011 3:23 am

      You are using your time wisely Robin! The rest will fall into place once the family settles down to a normal pace and comfortable routine. Your quiet, easy times are around the corner… and the rest will follow. TY! 🙂

      • 21/08/2011 8:20 am

        You are right. Hey – Mr O and I have a bit of QUIET time tonight. I showered and got dressed in a black nightdress – the kids almost ran to bed! LMAO!

      • 21/08/2011 9:17 am

        What a riot! Oh, you are wicked…. serves them right and here’s to more moments like that for you… 😆 It will get quieter as school work and new friends kick in… with time. 🙂 TY!

  14. 20/08/2011 9:00 pm

    Time is certainly ticking for me! 11 days until my big move- the house is a disaster area and it’s Indian Market this weekend! So, I’m not getting much packing done. But I’d never get back the chance to experience my 1st Indian Market! So, thank you, Eliz! Your post just relieved me of the guilt I was feeling!!

    • 21/08/2011 3:25 am

      Good grief! Another blog buddy on the move… I wrote a post where I identified the group of us on the move and missed mentioning you; I will update it and add you. Enjoy the Indian Market. This is a time of great change for a lot of us globally. How we use our time matters. TY! 🙂

  15. 21/08/2011 2:11 am

    Wonderful composition!
    Like Piglet In Portugal I was used to having either time or money, to such an extent that I had come to believe this were the only truth: that I to the extent that I chose one I lost part of the other. But recently I discovered how to have more of both, and eventually my reality is changing.

    • 21/08/2011 3:28 am

      Excellent observation… we can enjoy our lives and the good things in it… What’s critically important is the underlying message conveyed… what we do with our time, what we regret… TY! 🙂

  16. 21/08/2011 9:52 am

    Usually when I have time, I don’t have enough money (it’d be nice to have both at the same time for a change). But since money can’t buy time, I’d go for time. With time, I could make more money.
    Excellent post, as usual, Elizabeth.

    • 21/08/2011 10:43 am

      I hear you and that seems to be the overall sentiment here… and it’s true… with time we can do more; especially if used wisely. TY Marcia! 🙂

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