Time and its measurements / An argument against thinking ahead

You live most of your lives like you will live forever. You will spend today knowing that you are not going to die tomorrow, or this week, or this year, or before 2020. There are, of course, exceptions to this but I’m reasonably confident that they aren’t reading this blog post. Most of you are not in denial about death, but you’d still prefer to think about it as an event in the distant future that you do not need to concern yourself with now, or anytime soon.

When was the last time you felt truly proud of yourself? When was the last time you experienced exaltation or absolute contentment? When was the last time that you felt happiness in such abundance that you couldn’t contain it? How long did it last? When was the last time you felt an overbearing need to act on something? Did you? When was the last time you were struck to your very core by the anxiety of losing something you loved? When was the last time disappointment sank all the way down to your gut?

I sit here in front of you with my folded electricity bill covering the top right corner of my laptop screen. Why? Because I was reading a book and I wanted to keep myself from knowing what time it is so that I don’t feel sleepy and I could read it for longer. The experiment seems to have worked well because although I don’t know exactly what time it is now I know that it’s somewhere in the vicinity of 4am and that’s longer that I would have read if I’d been reminded of the time all throughout. Not to mention that I would also not be writing this blog post.

If you didn’t know what what time it was or what time you had to wake up in the morning then would you still sleep rather than continuing whatever you’re enjoying doing so much? If you didn’t know what the name of the next day of the week was or how many days it was till your birthday then would you still put yourself through the gruelling routine of today? Maybe if we didn’t use these measurements of time to reason things out we’d do things differently. And yes, not being able to quantify time would lead us to more irrational decisions, but our decisions can only be as rational as the assumptions of our objectives and morality that they’re based on.

I want to try for an unknown interval of time, to not count time and see how that works out. And I want to ask you, are we living or are we dying?

The pursuit of happiness

How hard do we have to try to be happy?
Do we really feel the good only in contrast to the bad?

When the days ahead look like an uphill climb, they say you need to climb as hard as you can, and then convince yourself that you can climb harder. You need to torture yourself to get to the top. You need to feel the pain. The only explanation I can understand is that we only torture ourselves for how good it feels when the torture is over.

We’re taught since we’re little, that we can get anything at the cost of unwilling effort. Homework for freedom, chores for chocolates and marks and grades for anything else on your wishlist. It’s a way of preparing children for the world they’re going to grow up in. So they’ll accept it without too much suffering.

They still say you need to work hard to get what you want, but what does ‘work’ mean? what do I want?
I’ve hardly felt better than when I’ve spent all day and then stayed up all night doing something that I love. And I don’t recall ever getting something I want by doing what everyone understands to be ‘work’. Because whenever I thought of something as work, I never did it well enough. And yet, I have as much as anyone else. I like that I can contradict them by just existing.

Everything takes time and energy. It’s just that I seem to have an endless supply of energy with some activities, while others make me want to sleep 14 hours out of 24.

Sometimes I feel like it’s a battle between me, and the way the world is. And accepting the world to be the way it is takes the most out of me. More than the fighting. I once heard the line, “We need to pretend the world is the way it should be, to show people what it can be.” And it made sense. Because very often, what feels like the easiest thing to do is to just keep fighting. Without any real hope of winning, but just fighting to preserve my identity. Fighting to exist in a world that contradicts with me.

Getting back to the question, I think we need to torture ourselves once in a while. Everytime we start to forget what the pain feels like. Maybe just so we can see the happiness when it comes, or maybe just out of boredom and curiosity. To understand ourselves, and see what we’re capable of. And in the long run, it does make us happier.