Contemporary society is obsessed with time — it is the most used noun in the English language. Since clocks with dials and hands first appeared on church towers and town halls, we have been bringing them closer towards us: into our workplaces and schools, our homes, onto our wrists and finally into the phone, laptop and television screens that we stare at for hours each day.
We discipline our lives by the time on the clock. Our working lives and wages are determined by it, and often our “free time” is rigidly managed by it too. Broadly speaking, even our bodily functions are regulated by the clock: We usually eat our meals at appropriate clock times as opposed to whenever we are hungry, go to sleep at appropriate clock times as opposed to whenever we are tired and attribute more significance to the arresting tones of a clock alarm than the apparent rising of the sun at the center of our solar system. The fact that there is a strange shame in eating lunch before noon is a testament to the ways in which we have internalized the logic of the clock. We are “time binding” animals, as the American economist and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin put it in his 1987 book, “Time Wars.” “All of our perceptions of self and world are mediated by the way we imagine, explain, use and implement time.”
Helpful to remember that no matter how much money we make, how efficient we become time is the great equalizer. We all get 24 hours. Make sure you use them to to better your soul and your relationships.