H ave you ever really thought about how much of our life is dominated by time? Nearly everything we do revolves around various types of time-measuring devices. We arise at the shrill command of an alarm clock each morning and go to bed at the same time each evening. We leave for, and arrive at, work at a certain time and stay there until a certain time. We have appointments at specific times throughout each day. Almost all meals are eaten at a pre-arranged time. Movies, television shows and all forms of entertainment are time related.
That being the case, one would think that all of us would place a premium on our time. One would, in fact, think that time would be far more precious than gold — that we would spend our time at least as carefully as we spend our money.
And yet, the opposite is true. Many of us place very little value on time. We spend countless hours in front of the television set immersed in idiotic programming geared to the intelligence level of a low-IQ 10 year-old.
Some of us sleep fully one half of our lives away.
Many of us allow others to insult us through their blatant disregard for our time. I recently looked around a physician’s waiting room and was struck by the thought that this doctor placed such a high value on his time that he routinely scheduled appointments all day, every day, in a manner that had his ‘customers’ waiting up to an hour (now I know why they’re called patients). Go figure.
But the strangest people of all are those who go to the opposite extreme. They place so much value on time that they spend their lives performing simultaneous multiple tasks. I read recently about a book entitled One-Minute Bedtime Stories. It provides ‘busy parents’ with traditional bedtime stories that can be read to children in one minute! Call me crazy, but it seems to me that if you’re too busy to read a 10-15 minute bedtime story to your child, then you are too busy!
So what are we doing with all this time that we’re saving? We’ve got microwave ovens, Velcro shoes, clip-on ties, instant coffee, fast food restaurants with express lanes (isn’t that redundant and repetitive?) and much more — yet many people still complain that there “aren’t enough hours in the day.”
If you really think about it, that’s absurd — if we can’t enjoy today, what makes us think that tomorrow will be any different?
Tomorrow will have its own joys, sorrows, adversaries and friends. It will dawn, pregnant with the unknown and filled with possibilities.
That leaves us with only today. Whether we are enduring pain or basking in joy, each of us can handle whatever today brings us. It is only when we add the burdens of yesterday and the dread of tomorrow that we find ourselves in despair. Remorse for yesterday and fear of tomorrow are our worst enemies.
The fact is that Americans thrive on speed — whether working or playing. For us, “Life in the fast lane” is not just an old Eagles song, it’s a way of life.
I can’t remember the title of a book I once read, but I do recall the opening line: “I hurry through everything I do, so that I can do something else.” How true for so many of us.
Opinions offered in If I Were King are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Tri-County Times or its staff. Email the King at email@example.com. Some content adapted from the internet.