Time is Humanity’s Greatest Problem and Solution
October na mamaya! Ang bilis ng panahon. Parang kailan lang, nag-ce-celebrate tayo ng New Year! Tapos, boom – Q4 na agad!
Some people might feel thrilled and excited about the matter. After all, if they are eagerly waiting for a future and certain event (or what we call as “period” in the legal sense), talagang mas gugustuhin nila na mapabilis ang panahon. On the otherhand, we have those who feel the opposite: they want the time to slow down because they do not want a specific day to arrive for some seemingly-complicated reasons. Case in point – kapag paparating na ang exam week, you will definitely wish to have all the time in the world to prepare. But then again, are you ever going to be prepared enough?
What I find to be really amazing and at the same time, frustrating, is that time is something that humans invented for themselves. Chronometry (or the science of accurate time measurement) has evolved from the dates that we have first formulated it, and that is with good reasons. It also has its very own scientific bases (that the Earth rotates around its axis 24 hours, or that the Earth revolves around the sun for +/- 365 days). It is a system that we have developed over generations, and eventually we let it become one of the unspoken rules in the realm of science and philosophy. Parang Math: It is the law and the language of the universe; it was not taught to us but it is definitely there, and the humanity just happened to find a way to read it.
Now the frustrating part is that since we have developed the concept of time for ourselves, one can now argue that time is a social construct. After all, it is the humanity that imposed the notions of a regular 8-hour workshift, or that a person acquires the full capability to think for himself and decide on the logic of his actions after the age of 18 years, or that a good age for a person to marry is more or less 30. The way I perceive it is that we have set, not just the standards of time as a unit of measurement, but also the factors as to how a regular man should live based on the society’s expectations.
Point is, the essence of time can make our daily lives stressful and demanding. But since we have imposed the concept on ourselves, one can also rebut and say that time is nothing but an illusion — that it is just a matter of mindset. The fact that we invented it means we can eradicate it, or at least, iyung concept lang.
Imagine a world that does not follow the rigors of time measurement. That might be a person’s version of utopia. After all, kahit saang angulong tingnan, mas masarap mabuhay kapag alam mong magigising ka na walang inaalalang deadline, o kaya naman ay hindi mo kailangang makagraduate at this age, o hindi mo kailangang alalahanin na makapagipon ng “x” amount of money at some point. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in that world? And sure, kahit batohin ka pa ng scientific explanation kung bakit ganoon ang time, you can also counter na it is not exactly a standard; that time differs in every place in the universe; that a year on Earth is not the same as a year on Mars, so nasaan ang standard doon?
But then again, the concept of time is deeply rooted and well-entrenched in our daily lives. To remove it is to break the system itself. And this can lead to extremes, mapa-good man or mapa-bad. Kapag inalis mo yan, when can you say na it is the harvesting season for a certain crop?; or when is the good time to prepare for the winter?; or when should a politician’s term expire to prevent him from abusing the power which was given to him by the public. And kahit pang sabihin natin na we can remove the illusion of time from our minds alone, one way or another, the society will force you to go back and follow the rules. Sure, pwede kang pumasok sa opisina ng 1PM and say that that is your definition of being early, but then again, do you have the authority to dictate the correct construction of “early”? No, and in fact, baka ma-terminate ka pa ng employer mo.
Ang essence lang naman ng post ko ay ganito: Why do we have to feel stressed about the passage of time, when in fact, we are the ones who imposed it on ourselves? And it is amazingly-weird kasi: 1) as I said, the measurement of time brought with it standards that make our lives orderly, so it’s good; and 2) along with it came the social constructs such as deadlines, which is not good. And sure, you can opt not to follow the system, but you have to prepare for the consequences of such action because attempting to break the system is most probably an exercise in futility.
Like all others, it has its own pros and cons. You can argue it from any sides of the coin, but you will eventually realize that it will not come to an end at all because the facts and theories surrounding it are limitless, inexhaustible, infinite.
For me, I could always say na I do not have to finish all these stuff on my plate on or before the deadline. But will I do it? Of course not. I do not want to fail the standards set forth by the society. I will always seek the balance between doing things in my own pace and meeting the period imposed by the community, but I will try to strategize and stick with a strict time schedule so as to mitigate the possible consequences should there be any.
And if in any case that the turnout is not good – well – I will just say na “time is an illusion” and as such, it is not necessarily the end. I will just try again and again even if it is the last thing that I do. Si Pia Wurtzbach nga, natalo 2 times bago nanalo sa Bb Pilipinas eh. Si JK Rowling, ilang beses binagsak ng mga publishers bago naging successful sa Harry Potter novels. Elon Musk became successful at a young age whereas Colonel Sanders got it when he was already in his 60s. These people tried to go along with the flow of time notwithstanding the deadlines and the failures, and ended up very well. I hope, ganoon din sa atin.
– And back to digesting.