In the midst of our chal­lenges, life’s clock still ticks

Daily Trust - - VIEWS - By Sa­muel Ufot Ekekere

Tech­nol­ogy has shown us its benev­o­lence in mak­ing prod­ucts once con­sid­ered scarce com­mod­ity and for the highly placed, ac­ces­si­ble to the aver­age per­son. Some­times we still wish we could place our­selves in the past and joke at what a comic we would make of what had be­ing a norm. I looked back to my child­hood and when I see such déjà vu be­fore my eyes, the kind that we were part of, just over a decade back, I marvel at how much has changed.

You may hark back to that pe­riod when only few per­sons in the com­mu­nity had the an­cient grand­fa­ther clock. Ev­ery­one would flock to the houses of these per­sons to have a glimpse of what the time was. Know­ing what the clock in­di­cated was a nov­elty. As a child, people con­sid­ered you “sharp” if you could tell the time. A proud mum would call out her son, “ju­nior go check the time at Papa Joe’s place.”Ju­nior would spring, a proud son of his mom over to Papa Joe’s house a kilo­me­tre away. This was his only chance to es­cape from his mother’s grip. He would whis­tle as he walked ma­jes­ti­cally to­wards the house. ‘Ju­nior how are you’, Papa Joe would ask as he saw this small sweat­ing man rush into his sit­ting room. “My mom sent me to check the time,” he would say. Ju­nior would stare at the hands of the clock, “long hand in 5; short hand in 8”, he would mem­o­rise; “long hand in 5 and the short hand in 8” just so that he would not for­get, and hop­ing his friend would not come along his path so that it does not slip his mem­ory. If he for­got, he would have to re­turn to Papa Joe’s house or else face the threat­en­ing glare of Mom.

This may be your ex­pe­ri­ence. Though we did not have the clock at our dis­posal, the fastchang­ing, time-ori­ented world was tak­ing a strong grip on us that we had to be con­scious of time and find a way to know what it in­di­cated.

To­day, there is cer­tainly not enough time to get ev­ery­thing go­ing. We have to make do with our “lit­tle” time and pray we can fix all our en­gage­ment into them. From when a child comes into life, his par­ents be­gin to mea­sure his time. A mother an­tic­i­pates that in two months, the wean­ing process is over and she would re­turn to her busi­ness push­ing the child to a day care sys­tem. Time runs fast and by four­teen out of sec­ondary school. By twenty, he should be a med­i­cal doc­tor. What a rush? When you ask why, they would say’ there is no time’.

Wait! Where are we head­ing? We may seem in a dig­i­tal world where our dig­i­tal clock does not tick. We no longer hear the lull in be­tween two ticks so we think we just have to keep run­ning through. While the clock is there to guide our ac­tiv­i­ties, it should not be our mas­ter. Like the paus­ing ticks on the old grand­fa­ther clock, there should be time to re­lax and make pro­duc­tive thoughts.

There is time for ev­ery­thing un­der the sun. There is time to learn. We can­not be suc­cess­ful with­out learn­ing. Some per­sons want to achieve with­out go­ing through all the painful process of learn­ing. They want to ‘ rush through’. Many people, es­pe­cially par­ents, re­ject this ide­ol­ogy. They want their wards to break the rules, jump classes, and get to places they are not qual­i­fied for. The end­point, which is of­ten not favourable, leaves them in a state of dis­con­tent.

The “no time” syn­drome has led to de­vel­op­ment of the “suc­ceed at all cost” ap­proach in which people do all to en­sure of­ten against the ethics of the game to get what they want. While we must suc­ceed, pa­tience should be a rule. Wait for your turn, do not break the line be­cause you think you feel you have no time, and should be given ben­e­fit over oth­ers to en­able you rush over to an­other task. If ev­ery­one were to con­sider time, no one would get any­thing go­ing. Ev­ery­one would act at ran­dom and so­ci­ety would be in a con­fused state; ev­ery one seek­ing his own, and of­ten get­ting noth­ing.

Pass through time; let ev­ery­thing hap­pen in its time as you work to­wards your goals. Do not let time pass through you; else, you will be pushed to make de­ci­sions that will be detri­men­tal to you and the people around you.

Ekekere wrote from Abuja<ek­ere­samuel@ gmail.com>

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