Time. You’ve probably realised how time can seem to move fast or slow depending on what you’re doing. Be writing an exam and notice how at the end of it, you ask yourself how you’ve run out of time? Or be out on a night partying and wonder how 3 hours just flew by. What about how the week seems to crawl towards Friday but the weekend races towards Monday?
This post is by no means meant to be a deep philosophical or scientific treatise on time. You’ll find a lot of those by the great thinkers of our time. You’ll find those that view time as a substantive phenomenon and those that posit a theory of time being non-linear. Others suggest that there is no future and only the past and the present is real. If you’re feeling particularly curious (and brave) you can delve into Einstein’s ‘Special Theory of Relativity’. In this post, I’ve chosen to view time conceptually. Feel free to share your ideas below too.
- What if there is no ‘time’? Some say our notion of time stems from a globally adopted system of partitioning the presence or absence of sunlight into day and night. We’ve agreed to use a 24 hour system to do this. In some parts of the world, we adjust time to give us more daylight hours every year. We all know we haven’t really added an extra hour of daylight just by declaring it to be so. The point I’m trying to make is that the concept of time is just that – a concept. An idea. In and of itself, time has no substance of its own. It is relative. Your awareness or consciousness of it gives it its meaning.
2. If there is no time then is there a past, present or future? If there is no time, then everything must exist in an everlasting now. Both, the past and the future. In fact, there wouldn’t be a past or a future. There could only be a present. The past and the future would exist alongside the present simultaneously. Every moment would hold within it the seed of every possibility and every potential.
3. If time did not exist, then there would be no distance because distance is derived from time elapsed. That would mean that everything we wanted to be or have would be present here. In this very moment. Each moment would be embedded with illimitable potential. Because it would contain within it the past, present, future; what you have, what you want, who you were and who you would or could be.
Whichever way you wish to view time, if you’re like me, you’ve often asked yourself how to make the best use of it. Over the past year, we’ve all probably learned to better value time and appreciate the moments we share with our family and friends. You, looking at the screen in front of you right now, have within you the power to imbue this and every moment of your life with whatever meaning you choose to. There is no end to what you could do with each moment. Right where you are. Countless thoughts you could think. Endless combinations of activities you can undertake, words you could speak or write. There is no limit to the emotions you could feel, the love you could share. So treasure each moment. For within it lies the infinitude of ‘time’.