What is the power of time? Does it rule us or do we rule it?
What time is it? A battle cry for those in a hurry?
When time becomes so important in your life that you forget everything else. “What time is it?” becomes your 'battle cry'. Time causes you to rush because you might be 'late'. Time causes you to end a happy occasion because you are 'out of time'. Time causes you to fail to enjoy life because ‘time’ is of the essence. Does that sound like you?
The world today counts time as their most needed asset. Time: be there on time; meetings begin on time; lunch is timed; breaks are timed. What do you think would happen to our 'timed' society if all of our clocks stopped? Chaos, that’s what. No one would know what to do. Everyone would be crazed because time would stand still! Well, not really, but it might feel that way.
"Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anyone really care?"
I remember the song “Does anybody really know what time it is?” written and sung by Robert Lamm of the band Chicago in 1969. Does anyone really know the time? Does anyone really need to know the time?
I think people only care about the time because the world around them functions on a time scale. First, we begin with alarm clocks, watches, small clocks, and clocks larger than a building. Then we move to clocks in the dashboards of our cars and on the bottom of our computer screens. We have clocks that show when someone is on break and when someone will return from lunch. We have clocks that tell us when a business opens and when it closes. We have clocks to tell us when TV shows are airing and when our party will begin. Are we too reliant on the clocks that seem to rule our lives?
How did the cavemen tell time?
In the caveman days, people had no clocks. They looked at the sun to see where she sat in the sky. That told them if it was the beginning of the day or the end of the day. It told them when the day was half over and it told them when they would have enough light to hunt or plant. Okay, so maybe that was a bit simple, but that was all they needed because life was much simpler then. It was even simple in my parent's time (no I'm not telling you how old I am, but I bet you can guess) when people sat on the front porch and visited with the neighbors instead of watching their favorite shows on TV. In fact, in those times there was no TV (I know horror of horrors).
If we didn't know the time.......
If we didn't know the time, would we fail to prosper?
If we didn't know the time, would we fail to live?
If we didn't know the time, would we fail?
Time has so many meanings and so many limits--
Time can mean so many different things depending on what you are doing or using time for. Time is a unit of measure. It is a unit of past, present, and future. It is also a unit of velocity, motion, action, and reaction. Time doesn’t seem to have an easy definition. Some books define time as ‘what the clocks measure’, others define time as ‘the moment when things happen’. Then there are those who define time as ‘every moment that is’. I have also seen it defined as a marching beat, an occasion, a rhythm, a designated instant, even a moment of measure. So why, if we can’t define it, is it so important in our lives?
From the moment we are born, time is ingrained in our lives. Information about an infant includes measurements, weight, and time of birth. As we grow we are reminded daily that it is ‘time to bath; time to eat; time for snack; time for a bottle; time for bed; time to get up; time to get dressed; time to go to school; even time to open presents. Time is presented as one of the most important things we must learn. Yet, what is it and why does it have such a powerful hold on us?
Let's look at how we use time and see if we can define it
We use time for everything: day to day living, meetings, appointments, daylight savings, working, vacationing, learning, eating, the list is endless. With that in mind, the best way anyone can define time is: "the measure of all life, and daily living". Sounds about right, or should we add "all moments of a life" or perhaps "all moments in a life" or how about "all moments"? What about adding "memories"? It really is hard to define. But without time, we wouldn't be able to function in today's society because everything is based on time.
Does it really have a hold on us?
I believe that time has such a powerful hold on us (in a manner of speaking) because we allow it to control every aspect of our lives. We rely on time for everything we do. Even on vacation we seek the time for everything we do. By using time as an excuse (so to speak), we give time the opportunity to run our lives and it never lets go!
Stop for a moment and really think hard about your life. Did you look at a clock today? How many times? Was there a real reason to look at the clock, or did you just want to know what time it was? I actually looked at the clock six times during the morning hours. Why? I don’t know why. I didn’t have any place to go and I didn’t need to know the actual time (an unusual event in itself, I assure you). But I still looked at the clocks. Why? Why? Why? Because time has been ingrained in everything we do.
Is it creeping up?
Wait, what time is it? Is it time to publish this hub or do I have time to add to it? Geesh, now I'm doing it!
Can we beat time? Do we need to?
Well, that depends on a lot of factors. Time controls the entire world in some way, shape, or form. Time controls when we get up, when we eat, when we sleep, when we catch the bus, when we go to school or work……… Time controls us! Can you tell someone to meet you somewhere without telling them a time? No! Can you know when to be at work without a time? No! Everything depends on time. So how, tell me how, can we beat it; and why would we want to since it is in everything we do? Perhaps the question should be "how can we live without"? A nice ponder for a sunny afternoon on the porch, right? But still no answers.
Take a moment to:
- savor your morning tea or coffee
- taste the food you eat, including that candy bar
- smile as you watch kids play
- enjoy time with family and friends
- walk the beach and watch the tide come in
- enjoy a sunset (how long since you've done that?)
Time isn't just about what and when!
Yes, our lives are based on time; but we can slow it down some. Perhaps take a long break and watch the birds fly around in the sky. Or take a moment to hear the rain and the thunder as it booms and bangs its way across the sky. Maybe you could take a moment to actually hear what your children are trying to say to you (it might be important). Take a moment to actually hear what the boss is saying about the way sales have been going (that may be important too).
Life is wondrous if you just take a moment to enjoy what is going on around you. Even when bad things are happening take a moment to feel. There is good and bad in each and every situation in life. If you savor each one, you will be living life to the fullest. You will be taking the ‘time’ to feel life and time will be beaten! No longer will time be the most important aspect of your life. No longer will you be using time as an excuse. No longer will time take you under its wings and never let you go.
Don't believe me? Try this exercise and see what happens:
Take a moment, as soon as you are done reading this part, and think about the happiest time of your life. Savor that moment and try to remember every detail of it. Smile, enjoy the moment once more, and feel the joy that you felt back then. ***Okay, stop reading and take the moment!*** Guess what, time just tried to scream at you to get back to it, but you were somewhere else. Great job! Keep up the good work!
Time is very important in our lives, but it doesn’t need to run every single aspect of it. We can take a moment for ourselves. We can take a moment with family and friends. We can enjoy the simple things in life and keep ‘time’ quiet while we do. So tell time to take a much needed vacation from your life and enjoy. When time comes back, you might even enjoy looking at the clock and asking “what time is it?”
© 2012 Cheryl Simonds
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