There is something decidedly melancholy about the passing of a year into history. All you have accomplished, all you lost, all the things you have done are now gone. Yes, yes, they are a part of you, a part of your personal record, personal history, and memory, but in a way they are gone too. We leave so much behind, so many people, so much love, and so many things that are lost at midnight when one year passes into another. All of it to start anew.
Only, what really changes?
The passage of time is a real thing, it happens, but our perception of its passage is the true ‘X’ factor as we only see time from the very narrow spectrum of our understanding. There is the notion that Man cannot know some things because we would not understand and that is as true as anything that has ever been posited. We can only understand and accept that which we can process, catalog, and quantify. We can talk about the passage of millennia but truly, it’s a concept that we can only understand from afar. We can address it scientifically, and discuss it as a piece of the great tree of life but to look at that length of time and to understand it, understand all that would pass, all that would happen, and all that that sort of time entails is something that lives in the gray realm of concept without form.
Saying all of this though the passage of time is important. It’s important for Man to understand and appreciate that we don’t have forever. Sure, if you are a person of faith who believes in an afterlife, or you just believe that when we die that that is the ‘end’, that’s fine, what I am saying is that as physical beings we do not have forever. There is a finite time we have in these bodies, in these times, and with these minds. We need to understand that and honor that. Not hide from it. This doesn’t mean we feel bad about the things we do that ‘waste time’, or guilt people that do things that we feel are not pushing them to any end other than its own because we need the times of ‘waste’ and ‘nothing’. We need those times to decompress from a brain that is always churning and processing and a life that seems to be always demanding. What we need to do though is that we need to stop chasing our tails. We need to stop creating more ghosts to chase. It is good to re-examine things, to take something out of the proverbial box and take a new look at it and to add a new understanding to these matters but we can’t keep raising the dead to avoid dealing with the living. We can’t live in history without making it first. We get so caught up in obsessing over the color of a thing without examining the thing itself that it’s maddening. We want to fight one another over everything, the films we like, the food we like, the opinions we have, everything, without questioning ourselves and why we believe what we believe. I know I am not right on everything because there is rarely a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side, life isn’t that convenient, but I also know that I try to make my biases clear when its necessary. We are built of our biases, forged by our pasts, and we will always carry the baggage of our years with us. And we can keep batting the ball around and around again but time won’t wait for us.
Time will never wait for us.
And there’s the lesson.
Man is an ephemeral thing. We move the world forward or backward in small ways by small deeds but can damn generations by great acts of arrogance and hubris. Two steps forward, three steps back. That’s the history of Man. The only way we will change the world, evolve the world, and really make an impact and the only way we can do it is to follow our passions, to listen to one another, and to work at creating the world we want to live in. It won’t be perfect, it won’t be a utopia, but it can be better. It can be safer. It can be more inclusive. We get so focused on the life that WE want to live, that we feel like WE deserve to live but we forget that we are here on borrowed time, that this world is not ours but is the world of the future, and the future of the future. This is not our world to mess up. The world does not belong to us, we belong to it, and are here on borrowed time. We find some many reasons to be different and spend so little time finding the things that unite us. We can be who we are – religious, atheistic, liberal, conservative, sexuality, color, gender, identity, we get so caught up on this stuff, on the things that divide us that we ignore what unites us. That we need this world. We need one another. We need to find a way to work together or we destroy everything. And this ISN’T OUR WORLD. We are people at a point in history but we live in a world made by others, good or ill, and we are placeholders until the future comes. Who are we to destroy a world where we are but a moment?
Ah, back to hubris, one of the greatest of Man’s sins. Sure, we will murder, and rape, and hurt one another for any number of reasons but our inability to see ourselves as more than transient, as more than human is definitely a fault we have ingrained into our DNA. But things can be different. Maybe not this generation, or the next, but it can be different. Step by step, inch by inch, it can be different. We will never be perfect, but we can be better.
The End Is Nigh.
But it’s always been nigh. We will always find ways to destroy ourselves. We are self-hating race that has been suicidal almost from the start. Some of us want Glory. Others want Revenge. Some want Heaven and others Hell. Free Will can make stretch ourselves to be smarter, wiser, better, but it can also make us want nothing more than to be back within a machine, mindless and working to the will of another. It’s easier that way. It isn’t better though.
And is there Truth? A Right Way?
There is perception and perception is different for every person, in every era, in every situation. But if we follow our hearts, if we try to make this world one we would want to live in, a world we’d want to hand to someone else then we’re on the right path. And along the way we’ll find our own truths, our own passions, our own paths. And our paths will diverge and join again but when our lives are over we should all end up in the same place – a place of comfort, of peace, and a place where Death is not the enemy but a friend that has come after a long journey to let us get some much deserved rest. We have created a world that has forgotten common sense and common decency, and we have forgotten that we’re in this together.
It’s a new year.
Whatever that means.
Let’s try to remember why we’re here and that we don’t have to be friends but we sure as hell don’t have to be enemies. We don’t have to see everything the same way, but we can find ways to compromise so that we can all get closer to where we all want to be.
Or we can just keep racing to the end in the misguided assumption that there’s something better waiting for us, hoping that it’s us that this happy ending was made for, and not someone else.
Time, gang, may be running out.
(I write books. I wrote a lot. Buy one. www.meepsheep.com)