During the intermission of an HD Live opera broadcast from the Metropolitan Theater (New York) that I was lucky enough to attend, minutes and seconds were shown on the huge screen while they were decreasing, till they reached 0:00, marking the beginning of the second act of the opera. Believe it or not, while sitting there and relaxing, I grew interested in watching the numbers, as they were rhythmically changing in front of my staring eyes.
“Boring!”, you will probably think. Okay, it may certainly sound so. On the other hand, I found it quite interesting, because I started thinking about TIME. First the seconds, then the minutes, kept receding in a measured, unstoppable cadence that made me feel the abstract, untouchable reality of eternity.
Actually, eternity is defined as timelessness, a state to which time has no application, therefore a “situation” where time does not exist anymore. I also reflected on the fact that we have no control whatsoever upon it. Time moves on inexorably, either you are happy (and wish it never passes) or you are sad (and wish it would slide away quickly).
Time flows like the water of a river, on and on and on... But, while in the distant future the river will stop flowing, time will never come to a halt. Even when all things exist no more, time will keep going on and on and on... But...wait a minute: Einstein said that time and space must coexist, meaning that when matter is "created", time comes along with it. Without matter, time does not exist. Anyway, here is the good news: After the end of our Universe, you can wait for a new Big Bang, and then you will be able to start counting seconds, minutes and hours once again! I’m joking, of course, but I deeply believe that time is a subject we should not forget to reflect upon, every now and then.
And once we become fully aware of how valuable, precious it is, we shall also realize that making a good use of it becomes crucial in our life, every single day, hour, minute, second. Do a little test, right now. Think of what a typical day of yours looks like. Let's see. You get up in the morning and... Then you... and... Fine. Are you busy all the time? Yes, you are, and you believe that this is wonderful. You need to have your day fully scheduled, you cannot have one single idle moment.
And, with this, you are sure that you are using your time in the best, most fruitful way. It may be true, but only to a certain extent. Doing "nothing" gives you the idea that you are wasting your time because you are not "acting." On the other hand, you are certain that going to work, running errands, meeting with friends, watching TV etc. fill your day with useful action. But this may not necessarily be true. Sometimes no-action becomes totally fruitful and fulfilling, if you are able to use those moments to relax, to think of something good, to send loving feelings into the world, to make positive plans. It is all in the motivations. Got it?
— Elsa Franco Al Ghaslan, a Saudi English instructor and published author (in Italy), is a long-time scholar of positive thinking.
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