The tyranny of time

May 26, 2008

I remember vividly that when I was a kid the summers seemed endless. Time seemed to move so slowly that I lamented its slow progression: “Mom, I’m bored!”

I long for those days. Time has accelerated so much that years seem to fly by! I remember my experiences at Princeton, McKinsey, Aucland and Zingy so vividly that they all feel like they happened in the past few weeks. Yet 16 years have elapsed since I started at Princeton!

There are numerous reasons for this to be true. When you are 6, a month is a much larger portion of your life than it is when you are 33. A recent article in New Scientist suggested that the biochemical structure of our brain evolves as we get older accelerating the passage of time.

Despite that, we don’t always perceive the passage of time in the same way. Einstein once remarked: “When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second, but when you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour.”

My “solution” to the tyranny of time comes from the words of Buddha: ““Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” For me, there is no better way to do that than to spend time with a close friend remaking the world and talking about everything and anything.

These moments are magical and exceptional and stretch time by making the stars shine brighter and memories so vivid! Whatever your solution, live in the present, it’s fleeting and fragile, yet so magical.

Carpe Diem!

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