A friend posted a quote from one of America’s great poets, Carl Sandburg, about not letting others steal your coin which is time.
Of poetry and resistance
No man…or woman…is an island. We survive or fail together, as a tribe, as a community and most importantly, as a global village that we call humanity.
No one can be complacent. No one can simply sit back and believe that it is the responsibility of someone else. It takes all of us. It is a time of great change, which means that it is also a time to collect yourself and be present to all that may be affecting you, both great and small.
Poets throughout the ages have captured these feelings into paintings of words that transcend not only their own time, but lay the foundation for our own. Thoreau, Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Cicero, Plato and many more, all have given voice to our collective outcry of individuals who speak from one to the many. Their words, whether written ages ago and inscribed on monuments or recently scrawled in spray paint of our crumbling infrastructure, have the power to embolden those who all-too-often believe that their own voices are too weak or few.
Poetry captures in stark or flowery words those sentiments that are the raw material for any resistance.
Time Bandits as Thieves in the Night
We’re all guilty of this. I am, and I am confident that you do too. We waste time on a regular basis.
Maybe it’s social media (guilty as charged), whether it is checking your Twitter or Facebook feed, taking and posting selfies or cat videos, chatting with random friends to rant or rave, the distractions are numerous. Perhaps it’s playing games, online or off (guilty here too), hours fly by trying to beat the next level…then just one more level…it started off innocently enough, but now it’s just another addiction that’s hard to beat.
With the ever-present smart devices at our literal fingertips, apps and games vie for attention here too, even without an internet connection, at work, at home, on the train or bus, while eating or even watching TV. The sources of these distractions are many, our ability to resist them is, well, futile. So, it would seem.
The phrase, “like thieves in the night” goes way back to biblical times, referring to God coming unexpectedly into your life. These modern “thieves” are not nearly as “unexpected” but far more likely to creep into your time-challenged life from every corner. It is up to you to “fight the good fight” by becoming more aware of how they steal your time. Time that you will never get back.
The Answer, My Friend
The song, Blowin’ in the Wind, was a hit by Bob Dylan way back in the early 60s about waking up the unrighteousness of segregation and how the times themselves will tell us of its truth. He didn’t see it as a so-called protest song, nonetheless it became one. When we become aware of an issue, then we have a chance to change the results.
Freedom (from another 60s song, Me and Bobby Mcgee by Janis Joplin) is just another word nothing left to lose, but the freedom comes at the price of awareness. When we work for pay, it’s almost always in terms of trading time for money. It is a lot easier to figure out the cost of wasting time when it can be valued in such strict monetary terms, but that is far from the only way that we pay the price of the aforementioned distractions.
My 2018 “Resolution”
Speaking for myself, I am setting my attention…and therefore INTENTION…on reclaiming time-wasting activities. This is as close to a “New Year’s Resolution” as I will make. Will it be easy, no. It is simple, as simple as shifting my awareness from those things that rob me of precious time and return it to me. I have stacks of projects that wait patiently for my attention. It is TIME to give them that attention! What opportunities are you passing up in wasting time?
I welcome your thoughts on this thoughtful topic.
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