WHAT TO DO WITH TIME
The national average lifespan of a Filipino is 75 years old. It could be broken down into 912 months, or 2,281 weeks or 27,375 days. This means that a person can manage his life within the purview of years, months, weeks or days, depending on his preference or lifestyle. In excess of the national average, it is already a bonus, something given providentially or at times perceived as a curse. Less than that is a completely different story.
During the period, a person can prepare on how to spend or use time. He can have as many skills or assets he wanted to accumulate to devote his given period or merely spend it, unmindful of any span or stretch he needs. It’s an individual choice.
In 1999, New York Times featured an article which explained the seven stages of man: Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, Young Adulthood, Middle Age, Early Old Age and Later Old Age. Each stage is memorialized in his specific situation. Education is therefore critical in the formation of each; for it is in training that man gains a number of concepts that would determine the quality of his life. One of the concepts is time.
The world in all its expansive glory is divided also into time zones.
Basically, time is what we perceive in terms of how our planet moves. We use several ways to determine with precision what time it is—-from the ancient sun dial to recent day digital watches. Not only is day or night determined according to hourly calibration but to date, man can even measure it through milliseconds. Profoundly, time can also be seen according to Biblical albeit philosophical considerations like “There is an appointed time for everything; and there is a time for every event under heaven—a time to give birth and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.” (Ecclesiastes 3).
What time has given us is for us to use it in the most appropriate way according to how we define what is appropriate. There are those who dilly dally and there are those who are in a hurry. There are those who vacillate and there are those who are punctual. There are those who do not mind time at all and those who are always conscious of it. At the end of the day, it defines how we lived life or how we spent time. Wasting it is disregarding life’s grand meaning.
There is a school of thought that says time is a gift. In China, it means present, something given not as a token but as a reward. It is up to the receiver whether to keep, use or lose it. Gifts are memorable depending on how it is appreciated. In other Asian countries, it is something to play around with; something to evade, something to depend on.
In the animal kingdom, there is no such thing as time. Everything is guided according to its lifespan, not measured by time but by instinct. Hence, a cat eats only when it’s hungry not because it is meal time already. A fly achieves its maturity and fades away on the 13th day of its existence. Time is not an essential part of their lives; it is their lives that guide the time. For the plant kingdom, time varies according to environment. There are those that wither not because of its lifespan but because of the climate and there are those that live for thousand of years.
For man, there is always Father Time. His existence depends on its application; the quality of how he will live is based on how conscious he would apportion it. Time is at times a blessings, to a certain extent a nuisance. But it is constant and not even the heavens can alter it.
For the greater mankind, time is measured as an absolute consideration that contains everything that exists in the universe. It waits for no one. It is the most potent force that cannot be equalled, much more so challenged by wealth, power and pedigree. It has no center and no side. It is fleeting and just; objective and cold. It is always here, there and everywhere.
At best, it can only be observed in a respectable manner.