All we have is time.
That’s it – that’s what it all boils down to. Like the trope states wherever you go – there you are – our physicality occupies space – displacing air molecules – standing in line at the coffee shop – riding along in our cars – sitting at our desks – we take up measurable space which makes room for us as we move about. We also consume time – but we do so universally. My time spent in a line waiting for coffee does not put everything else in the universe on hold – the goat herder outside of Abuja carries on as if nothing else is happening – although everything else is happening – including my line waiting.
And this is how it should be – we all move about in our own space and share time independent of each other. That is until we ask someone to wait on us – or agree to a time we are going to meet – or leave for an appointment – or take the plane off for a destination – get back to someone – etc. etc. etc. When we ask someone for their time we are asking them for the only thing they actually own.
This is why my number one pet peeve is waiting on others who are late.
I understand that time is a manmade construct – and that it can be relative. But we as a species have pretty much settled into the concept of our daily spin of the earth taking 24 hours give or take a leap second here and there – and our circling of the sun at 364.25 of these spins. We can measure this with a wristwatch, a sundial, a cellphone or the microwave signal that electrons in atoms emit when they change energy levels. There are countless ways to keep track of time. Humanity runs on the stuff.
SO – If you agree to meet someone at 6:30pm on Wednesday November 22, 2017 – there is only one spot within the construct humankind has agreed to treat as time that you may arrive which marks whether or not you are late. If you’re early – you have deemed the person or event worth an extra bit of your time – when you are late you convey the opposite.
There is no in-between.
This also goes for scheduling events – you advertise said event to begin at a certain time and it does not – you are wasting other’s time – wasting the only thing they actually own and can never get back.
And therein lay the crux of the biscuit. When you waste another’s time – they can never get it back – it is gone forever. I can think of no greater insult – because in order to take time away from a person they must have already agreed to spend some of this finite commodity with you and in return this agreement has been broken.
One cannot make up for lost time – it does not get added on at the end of one’s days – the scissor wielding daughter of Zeus, Lachesis, doesn’t knot on the extra fifteen minutes you waited for the plane’s crew to show up. Nope it is gone forever.
The excuse of, “Well what else would you have been doing?” simply adds condescending insult to injury. The answer is, “Whatever I wanted – it’s my time.” See, because by being late, taking YOUR time, you are doing what you want at the expense of someone else. I reiterate – an expense that cannot be repaid.
Think about it – agree – disagree?
I hope reading this was not a waste of your time.