'I have 20 clocks in my house!' What time means to us

in #life2 years ago

We all want time, and often more of it. Sometimes I feel that 24 hours are not enough to accomplish all the things I would love to accomplish. However, 24 hours is enough if we know how to manage time and use each our hour productively. But what happens when we obsess over time to the point where we become like robots?

Recently I was talking to a new student I had from Japan. We were talking about different cultures when he mentioned his country's obsession with time and time-keeping. I told him about an article I had read few days earlier about a train that was 20 seconds early and people were angry! So when he asked me about London and public transportation, I told him they hardly come on time, especially buses. Sometimes waiting for a bus for 30 minutes, and when it finally comes, 2 others are behind it!

My student was astonished by this fact and wondered whether that bothers people. I explained that although people are annoyed by delays caused by public transportation, they get on with their day because there's nothing they can do about it. This was of course completely the opposite of his country and culture as time and time keeping are sacred. In fact, he told me he has TWENTY (20) clocks in his house so he can ensure that he is always on time! Personally, I think a healthy balance is needed when it comes to time. It's important to be aware of time and know its value, but I think the Japanese approach causes a lot of stress, and people forget to live.

Does your culture or country have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with time?

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My dad has an interesting relationship. He has a clock on the wall and removed the hour arm. He says he does not want time to make him feel more stressed than he already is atleast not when he is in his own home

Wow That's amazing! I think he has a point because it adds stress to an already stressful life. People hundreds of years ago didn't rely on a clock, but they got on with their day without the added pressure of hearing 'tick tock, tick, tick tock...'

Good point! I do think in this sense life was less stressful before. People followed the rhythm of nature

Exactly! The good old days :)