TIME

February 1st, 2010
by Alfonso Ebanks

[private]v8-2-Our IslandsThe word time as described in the Merriam/Webster dictionary has two main definitions. The first one is: The measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists or continues. The second definition is: The non-spatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present and into the future. These are beautiful definitions but they do not come close to describing time as it relates to our every day life.

Time is the single most important thing in our lives and it ranks second only to life itself. It may not be in the top ten most-used words in the English language but it leads by a tremendous margin in synonyms, which means that it has more meanings that almost any other word. Modifiers used in front of or behind it can create words with whole different meanings. Time is not a concrete word therefore it must be an abstract word and coming up with a non-controversial definition that can be applied to the fields of religion, philosophy, and science has long eluded the best of minds. Time has been a major subject for the aforementioned fields of thought but yet none have been able to establish a single semantic or grammatical interpretation of time. As it relates to the common man, time is merely a measurement that he uses to schedule future events in the trans-course of his life. Man has no concept of time and without references he quickly loses track of all notions of time. Nature has provided man with the references that he has used for millennia to mark the events in life. He used the sun to mark the days, the moon to mark the months, and the winters or summers to mark the years.

All living things depend on time for their birth, growth and, eventually, their demise. Even though time is not a tangible entity it is the biggest killer of all. A person that has evaded the many geriatric diseases that are intent on ending his life will eventually succumb to time. It is a proven fact that no matter the age of a person there are no cells in their body that are older than 10 years, yet they will die and the only thing working against them is the passage of time.

There exist many sayings that refer to time; one of the most popular is that TIME FLIES. This is only true if you’re having a good time. If you want to prove this saying wrong just have someone hold your head under water and time will cease to fly, it will begin to crawl. There are truisms that apply to time like: There is more time than life. In this statement we try to quantify time as if it is an element or a fluid yet we measure only the passing of time not the amount of it. The devices used to measure the passage of time are many and the study of these devices is called horology. Though there are many horologists there are none that pretend to study time itself for it is an elusive nonentity that defies description. The following quote sums it up pretty well, “Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.” This quote is attributed variously to Albert Einstein, John Archibald Wheeler and Woody Allen. By its very simplicity and its profound implications I sincerely believe that it was coined by Woody Allen. [/private]

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