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Equivalent Exchange

As I continue to watch Fullmetal Alchemist, I see the universality of the core concept of Alchemy in the show - that of equivalent exchange.

In the show, you need to give up something to obtain something of equivalent value. That is how matter is deconstructed and reconstructed.

While the idea is certainly fictional, the concept is such a good metaphor for so many things.

The latest among my realizations of what this could be a metaphor for is our own time and what we do with it.

When we start with a plan for our time, we know what we ought to be spending the time we've set aside on. However, when something comes up, like an email or a phone call or a notification or a meeting invite, we are undertaking equivalent exchange.

In order to do something with our time, we have to give up an equivalent amount of time that we could otherwise use to do something else.

Equivalent exchange.

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