Time is a mysterious thing. Sure, we understand it as a measure of existence or process, but there is an entire school of thought (and related school of thoughts) dedicated to studying it, whether in a scientific or existential way.
One thing’s for certain, though—not everyone has the same experience of time. To some, it goes by fast, while to others it’s a drag. Some are faster to get things done while others always take more time. And it all depends on the activity… and the amount of necessary activities… and the context in which these activities are performed… and a bunch of other things, in fact, as pointed out by one Twitter user, thus making it unfair to expect the same results within the same time frame when there are just too many factors involved.
There’s a saying “we all have the same 24 hours,” meant to make us think how we could use our time effectively
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So, Shailja Patel, author of the book Migritude and research associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, went to Twitter to explain how we all have the same 24 hours, except it’s not really the same.
You see, some use public transport, while others get around using more personal means—her example used private jets. Food is also an essential part of life, and some prepare it themselves, but then there’s all the cleanup afterwards, especially if there’s also a kid involved. Well, people who can afford staff to do that don’t have to worry about it and hence have more time in the day.
But, this Twitter user pointed out that not everyone’s hours are the same in her now viral Tweet thread
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Patel continues to say that it’s all effectively based on money—money buys time in that sense. If you can afford a private means of transport or you can afford to pay someone else to do certain things, then you’re effectively buying yourself more time to do things in order to achieve greater results.
Patel ultimately goes to say that “we all have the same 24 hours” is a toxic tool that can be used to shame people for not trying their best, eliminating the hard work of teams of people behind rich people, and ultimately shutting down any questions about privilege, capital, and safety nets. And this creates unfairness.
This stirred a bit of a debate among the respondents on Twitter
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So, the tweets have stirred a bit of a discussion. For the most part, people agreed with this. Some shared just how much more they would be able to do given a better financial situation, especially when it comes to household chores and food preparation.
A handful of people pointed out that things like disability should also be considered in the equation. After all, what might take an hour for a healthy person may take someone else three hours (or significantly more) as well as a lot of effort to get things done.
Some were surely playing the devil’s advocate, but others were agreeing and even adding to the argument
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Others, however, argued that these same rich people may have had to work hard to get where they are, and how they made the best and most effective use of their 24 hours that were just as difficult. Some added that it all still has a huge choice factor—dedication and determination—that can greatly alter the amount of hours we have available to us in the long run.
The tweets got quite a bit of attention, garnering almost 200k likes and nearly 70k retweets
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The tweet thread managed to get quite a bit of attention, garnering over 192,000 likes with nearly 70,000 retweets. What is your take on this—do you agree with Patel’s claim that not all of us have the same 24 hours? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!