By | April 8, 2021
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“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” (Henry Van Dyke)

The world has certainly gotten crazier over the last decade. The way people act you’d think none of us had anything in common. It seems we’re on one side or the other and it’s always the wrong side if it’s not the side you’re on.

A few months before he was assassinated, John F. Kennedy, in a speech at American University in Washington, D.C. said:

“For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

I think, somewhere along the line, we forgot that we’re all in this together — no matter what side of the fence we’re on. It makes no sense to hate someone who doesn’t think the way you do. But there sure is a lot of that going around these days, isn’t there?

We’ve been through this many times before – think of the crusades where each side believed they were so right that the other side needed to be obliterated. Thank goodness, we’ve become a little more civil – or have we? I’m not so sure.

I know that these few humble words won’t change the world. They are but candles in the wind – flickering as they are extinguished by the wind.

But one single torch can light the world.

Everyone has the right to choose how they will believe and the path they want to follow. But to denigrate those who believe differently and who follow a different path than we do makes no sense to me at all. Trying to tell someone else how to believe is only going to end up frustrating you and alienating the other.

No one is always right — although you’d never believe it watching the political theatrics at play right now. No one is always right, no one is always wrong, no one is inherently better than anyone else.

The rich are not better than the poor; the educated are not better than the uneducated; beautiful is not better than ugly; the well are not better than the sick. But somehow the world has adapted a scale where people feel privileged to judge the rest. Of course, it’s not fair and assuredly not logical.

Some of you are religious. Jesus was not rich, and, according to the prophecies of Isiah, He was not handsome…

“He has no form or comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him…” (Isaiah 53:2).

Rich or poor, strong, or weak, beautiful, or ugly, well, or sick and on and on… we are all in this together. Besides the fact that we all live on the same planet and we all breathe the same air, and we all die — we all share the constant universal constraint and that is time.

We are all bound by it. We all must live with it. We cannot stop it. We cannot turn it back. We cannot save it. We cannot defeat it. We cannot cheat it. We cannot create it. We cannot destroy it. But it will eventually kill you and me and everyone that lives.

Our time on this planet that we all share, is short. We all should make the most of the time we have – but it seems to me, we’re not doing a very good job of making the most of the time we have on this earth.

We allow ourselves to be tribalized by contemporary but surely evanescent beliefs and mantras. We get so caught up in opinions and prejudices, we forget the fact that, right before our eyes, time is ticking away. And using our time to spread hate or disparage others or their beliefs seems like an awful waste of our precious time to me.

I don’t know how much time I have left, and neither do you. But if you want to know what’s important think about this…

The only things that really matter and are important are the things that will matter on your last day on earth. If you’re lying on your deathbed, money won’t matter, other people’s beliefs won’t matter. And rich or poor, black, or white, Democrat or Republican, strong, or weak, and all the other worldly judgments – won’t matter. The only things that will matter are the people you love and who love you. When you’re about to slip off to that eternal coil – all that really matters is love.

I wrote an essay years ago about time and its crux was… While I’m killing time, time is killing me. And it’s true.

If you think of today as your last day on this planet – you’ll think about what really matters. Those are the important things. And end the end it does not matter whether someone else believes as you do, or votes as you do, or looks like you do, or worships as you do.

We all live on the same planet and we all breathe the same air; all of us are killing time while time is killing us.

And of the time you have left, why not try to make every minute matter?

4 thoughts on “Time

  1. Vicki Garrett

    Something I have thought so often. It reminds me of small youngsters when the world and the people in it are often bound and determined to argue about whatever they find that is opposite of their own beliefs. Come on people! Let’s be grown-ups and not 2 years old fighting over a certain toy! Thank you TC for voicing this, more people need to read this!!

  2. M Hunt

    Yes, we’re all certainly here together. We all certainly believe our perspective is the right one. To work together and accomplish a better world demands that one side or the other ‘give’. Otherwise the conflict continues. When one side figures out a way to get everything it dreams of the other is convinced the world will end. Sadly, when one side relaxes their pressure the other immediately takes advantage and claims the offered common ground. This is the world we live in. No preaching, no reasoning, no begging or demanding seems to be able to change the entrenchment of the sides. Those of us who fear the final outcome are right to look over our shoulders because those we come into contact with each day have been affected; affected by the lack of and total disregard for fair play and truthfulness. Most of us ‘boomers’ still understand right from wrong, but in later generations all bets are off. Decency and morality don’t figure in and the end justifies the means in nearly every circumstance. We do live in a crazy, gone mad society. As far as time is concerned, I would choose to live again in the world of my childhood where I felt secure tucked into bed at night, had a mom and a dad, a good teacher, a home, and a future that I could direct with my own effort. That future has now been stolen from us and our grandchildren while we were looking the other way. The majority of us can still feel a common connection with other people, however. It’s the drivel that’s being fed to us in our own living rooms and the caustic hatred that is being sold to our young on the internet that will ultimately ruin our relationships with each other. Time will not heal the hatred and suspicion and lies on that train. I’ts gaining speed and coming for us, too.


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