Blog Archive

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Stop the Clock

Ideas and Opinions | Milo

In this piece I am defending the right to live a thoughtful life, and that "thinking" at the expense of "doing" is not only OK but is a necessity of living in the "first world". Milo out.
Image from John Saddington
Humanity marches forward right? That's what it does, we progress, we march, we improve on the works of our fathers and seek absolution from the sins of our fathers, ultimately improving all the same. Indeed in this world of unflinching progress, where we will forgive athletes all manner of abuses because they are great, and we will forgive musicians all number of obscenities because we adore them, and ignore other such billionaires because they are our leaders and benefactors, there is no time for anything other than progress. 

You're a bum if you are working in the same modest job for fifteen years, and you're a loser if you are unemployed. We are raised with the expectation that we will inevitably hate our jobs, and some of the most popular sitcoms of our time deal with the awkward mishmash of necessity, and incompatible personalities, that make a 9-to-5 the biggest bane of the (hideously named) "first world".

Office Space Gif
If I was to stroll through London I would be bashed and bruised, knocked aside by the hundreds of busy, busy people all participating in this culture of progress. No one seems to have time these days, despite time being all we have as people of the "first world".

It is with this perspective that I seek to stop the clock. After all it is "our" clock to stop isn't it? We have stopped many a clock in the past, such as when sundials were deemed inefficient, and then we stopped even more when trains required a standardised time to run smoothly.

So there, I've stopped the clock.

When I miss my bus stop because I am reading a novel: I have stopped the clock. When I live a monkish existence rather than rush into my next job: I have stopped the clock. When I take an hour to decide whether I want to wake up, or stay in bed for a further hour: I have stopped the clock.

However aside from these petty rebellions against our busy and "progressive" society, there is a more meaningful reason to stop the clock. We in the UK speak the world's most convenient-to-speak language. We live in "our" world, and with that comes a sense of stewardship and compassion that cannot be expected of those "outside" of it. We are charged with thinking about how best to live, because our actions have consequences for hundreds upon thousands of other people. Right now how I choose to value myself as a worker affects those who I will work with, and those who will benefit from my employment. Moreover the attitudes I have will affect my ability to live with my neighbours in peace. This goes from the insignificant (like deciding whether to have patience with the noise of a neighbours DIY) to the significant (like deciding ones perspectives on welfare, refugees, sexual identity and gender identification).
Time and Tide by Vlolscraper
Therefore I have chosen to spend my days thinking in solitude, before then writing these same thoughts up, or discussing them with my friends. I have done this for years in small and sporadic ways, before founding The Patient Approach with my partner-in-thought Moose. I have since turned my thoughts into actions, without transforming their essential nature.

But these new found "actions" do not validate my thoughts, and the fact that I have something to "show" for all my solitude is not a proof of its worth. Indeed whilst thoughts and actions are not the same thing, a thoughtful life is an active life all the same. Blowflies hover and zip for their lives are short, they do not have the gift of stopping time. We do. We live at the speed that we choose to, and time passes as the rate that we decide. Therefore stopping to think and consider one's life is not to stunt one's progression through life, it is to redefine it.     

No comments:

Post a Comment