This is entry five in my themed series of blog posts in which, as part of my ongoing quest for greater self awareness and my continued personal and professional development, I pick a key word and write about it for a set amount of time. I’d really like it if you left a comment on here with a new word for me to explore or you could suggest one on Twitter (@Iain_D_Stewart).
This week, the word is TIME, and I’ll be writing for twenty minutes.
What comes to mind when I think about time?
A saying: “Time is a loop”
It’s been with me for so long that I can’t remember where it’s originally from. Thing is, for hundreds of thousands of generations people believed time was a loop. Tribes of humans believed in the circular nature of time. A person was born, they grew up, learned how to function in the tribe, learned their position, contributed, paired off, had offspring, and the cycle repeated. They literally believed that breaking the circle would disrupt the equilibrium of their tribes existence, the delicate balance they had created between themselves and nature. They say this goes back tens of thousands of years, this exact cycle.
It’s only relatively recently that society has changed, and changed so much in a very short space of time. The world has expanded, population has exploded and technology has advanced to scary levels. We are living longer lives due to better health care, and we’ve removed many factors that would once have killed us before our time. The circle of life that our ancestors existed in is unrecognisable or maybe even broken beyond repair. Because all this has happened in such a short stretch of time, the rapid change has disrupted the natural cadence of life, and it is manifesting itself in the form of needless aggression, an increase in victimhood, much increased mental illness, and a great, black, depression.
We had found a balance, a natural cycle that was sustaining life, but now the modern world is killing us.
Sometimes I look at the world as it is right now and I feel sorry for my son having to find his way in it. The world seemed a lot simpler even back when I was a kid, and in the grand timeline of the human race, that was not all that long ago. Only four channels on the television, and if I wanted to watch a movie I had to get up and put a physical tape in a machine, and probably rewind it back to the start. Nowadays I can watch a film with a couple of gestures on a black slab that is literally always mere inches from my grasp. I see violence everywhere, or the intent to incite it, at least. Everyone is mad at everyone else. There’s a lot of hate in this world. Israeli’s hate Palestinians. Feminists think men are trash. Men objectify women. Black women hate white women. Women hate trans women for invading their spaces. Anonymous Furries troll everyone. And it seems everyone hates black men. Oh yeah, don’t even get me started on the religious groups. Obviously these are not absolutes, for example not all feminists hate men, but the generalisations are generally true, which is why they are generalisations. The world is being further divided up into groups all the time, and those groups don’t play well with other groups.
Makes you wonder who is trying to keep us all divided, and to what end, doesn’t it?
Maybe it’s just Twitter showing me the extreme ends of every scale. I try to follow a wide array of characters on there to keep it from becoming an echo-chamber, with everyone parroting my opinions back at me and validating them – at times it does become too much though. It’s the empath in me, trying to understand everything from every viewpoint. I sometimes worry about my son finding his way in the world. I worry for fleeting moments, at least, because then I remember my purpose, which is to teach him how to find his way and not be distracted along the way. I wish I could pass on my memories, so he can learn first-hand from my mistakes. That would be easier. But I know it doesn’t work like that. I know he has to find his own way. I will help him. I will teach him all I know that will help him on his way. I will be here for him and support him from the sidelines for as long as I can.
As I’m writing this, Jake is running around in a soft play area. Does he have any concept of time yet, I wonder? He has recently turned four years old and I have no real idea for how long he has been consciously sentient for. How long has he been forming memories? What is the earliest thing he can remember? I can’t remember the earliest thing I used to be able to remember. I’ve just told him we’re leaving in ten minutes as we’ve been here for about an hour, and that’s usually his limit. Does he understand ten minutes? I know he knows there are sixty seconds in one minute. If he was in the mood we could probably sit down and work out that there are six hundred seconds in ten minutes. But does he understand the concept of time passing?
Yeah. I wrote for twenty minutes.
But what is time, anyway?
I don’t understand it.