WHEN we are obsessed by time, clocks and watches can be dictators.
Hurry destroys souls. As Carl Jung wrote: “Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil.’’
We hardly ever take time to wonder. And without wonder, life is merely existence.
In his book The Discovery of the Amazon, explorer John Adams told of forcing his indigenous porters to double their walking pace to reach the source of a river before the coming rains made progress impossible.
One morning he found that the porters squatting outside his tent, unwilling to continue the journey that day.
“We have been moving too fast,” they explained. “We must now wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies.’’
Novelist Ivan Turgenev said time “sometimes flies like a bird, sometimes crawls like a snail.
“But a man is happiest when he does not even notice whether it passes swiftly or slowly.’’
British Field Marshal Harold Alexander had a curious way of dealing with unfinished business.
At the end of each working day, he would empty the contents of his “In’’ tray into his “Out’’ tray.
Asked about this strange habit, Alexander said: “It saves time’’.
In his book The Freedom of Simplicity, Richard Foster told he was working at a boring job when a friend visited him one day.
“He loitered about for nearly an hour, perched on the edge of the table, smoking a cigarette and talking occasionally of nothing in particular.
“When he had gone I was filled with a special joy because I realised that he had deliberately wasted an hour with me. It was not that we were discussing something of importance or that I needed consoling: it was a pure and unsolicited gift of time.
“We only deliberately waste time with those we love – it is the purest sign that we love someone if we choose to spend time idly in their presence when we could be doing something more `constructive’.
Everywhere is within walking distance, if we have the time.
So relax today and count your blessings – one at a time and slowly.