Much has been said on the subject of time. We often don't have it, have too much of it, or have whiled it all away without a care in the world. After the meaning of life, time is the most pondered subject. Time is loved and hated. With a vengeance. We believe that it is because time is that line between reality and fiction. While it is specific and precise (it can be measured), it is also experienced differently by different people in different situations. Even if you have time, you can't save it. You can use it, but also lose it.
While time will remain an enigma to many of us, it can also be a teacher. In the words of Pericles, it is the wisest counselor. Here are some things that time has taught us, time and again (pun intended).
There are so many things that we'd never do. We hold staunch ideas about the world around us. Which often blinds us to the pain and perspectives of the people around us. We often can't fathom how someone can make such silly decisions, or even judge those who behave in a certain way. We spend our lifetime loathing certain qualities of our parents, only to understand them deeply when we become a parent ourselves.
Time puts us all in places we never thought we'd ever be in. Years, months, weeks, or moments, time turns on us in an instant, making us empathetic towards people we never understood. It keeps us grounded.
We all know this one. There are certain things you can only learn over time, with experience. There is just no other way around it. This experience develops something else within us – a gut feeling. That we learn to trust and use to make important decisions. It does not matter what you are going through in life, if you've gone through it before, it becomes just a little bit easier. In some ways, experience is one of the biggest gifts of time. The knowledge and experience that we gain with time are priceless.
Time teaches us to be grateful. What we have now and today teaches us to be thankful for the experiences we've had in the past and the wonderful present moment. It teaches us that when we live in grace, our time here on earth is peaceful. We find contentment in the now and release anxiety about the future. Time teaches us to take what is given to us and celebrate it, even if it isn't what we expected. Because the gift of time is bigger than anything else we can ask for in our lives.
Time teaches us patience. No matter how hard you try to push some things, they will only happen in time. We spend months, years, and even decades waiting for something we truly want. Time teaches us to wait. For time waits for no one, we must wait for time. Patience is a virtue equal to none. Waiting to bide time has won many wars. It does not matter what your aim is in life, patience is key. Be it raising children, starting a business, growing a tree, or getting promoted, it all requires patience.
While time teaches us to wait, it also teaches us punctuality. If we are not punctual, we miss the train, so to speak. Being on time opens doors that were perceived to be closed. It helps us achieve what we want in life without wasting the precious commodity of time.
Time teaches us to love. Not just others but also ourselves. It teaches us to accept people as they are and love them, no strings attached. Because those strings we attached to love, get worn down over time. With time, we view some relationships from a distance, and others up close. And we love. Because time cleans those foggy lenses and connects the dots for us. It shows us what is truly important in the long (and the short) run – love.