Have you ever wondered where all the time has gone? Time is such a difficult thing to quantify due to the way we perceive it – 10 minutes spent sitting waiting in a doctor’s surgery can seem like an hour, whereas the precious last day of a holiday can feel like it’s over before you know it.
Gandhi, when asked what he would like to take home to India from his visit to New York replied to this effect: “You have many devices to save time, but since being in New York I observed no one seems to have any time. However, in rural India where no such devices exist, there seems to be so much more time.”
Why is it that today, when we have so many time-saving devices, we actually perceive that we are short of time? When our lives are divided into time measured in ever-faster events and driven by trying to getting more done than is possible, we end up being trapped on the hamster wheel that is modern life. Time as we see it measured on a clock is perceived differently according to how we are spending it – when we fill our days so every last minute is used up, we perceive that we have no time left and that’s when we say “where has all the time gone!”
So, in this mad rush of endlessly playing catch-up, how do we deal with living a faster, driven life with no time to spare? In years gone by people used to undertake something called a pilgrimage, which involved weeks, months or even years of simply walking every day to a final destination. Today that might seem to some a pointless activity, but I think the principle of taking time out of one’s normal routine to undertake something that is slow by normal standards actually helps give the impression that time itself is going slower.
Obviously some things need to be done as quickly as possible; but here is the challenge if you feel your life is rushing past – find something to do that slows you right down, or even stops you for a while, and you may find that not only your quality of life improves, but also your health!