To Pass the Test of Time.


What do the signs say that the times don’t? How much of this do we forge because we are torn by events too dense to penetrate?

How much of what we say is supportable? How much of it isn’t? What is it about problems that makes us prophets unwittingly? Who sees clearly concerning the century?

Not only is time a constant, it is also a faucet through which our lives are dispensed. To use it wisely, we must cease to be benignly involved with ourselves. Else we will always feel out of time (and touch) with the essential us. This feeling prevails when we dwell too long on what’s missing, letting it censure our aspirations. Even then, however, a certain urgency remains though we train ourselves to behave benignly.

This urgency is nature’s way of inspiring agency, getting us to act on our own behalf. Hence the need to nurture a sense of mortality. When these blend, time wends favorably on our behalf, but only if we manage moments as they pass without wishing for them to last.

Moments last when we enlist goals to help us manage. By which, we use everything to our advantage, adversity included. In fact, unless we use adversity, we will lose our tenacity. In losing this, time denies our aspirations, also what we promised others.

We make this promise by our presence. The fact that we are here requires us to fulfill roles that only unfold as we use goals to manage time. Hence the importance of birth and parenting, of understanding what conception signifies. In fact, nine months helps us overcome what stunts our efforts to evolve (and excel).

In this regard, every child is a prophecy and every parent a prophet, by which we achieve a better world with lesser woes than what our parents inhabited. When we consider this, we enlist time to help us design worthy lives.

By inconsideration, we waste time and pursue designs unworthy of ourselves. No wonder millions feel feeble, morally and emotionally. They live with the sense their lives were meant for more. Yet a lack of goals consigns them to roles that degrade their essence and betray their talent. Time thus becomes a tyrant.

Only goals give the autonomy that enables them to manage time until their talent serves them. In the absence of goals, time passes either too fast or too slowly. In passing so, they become slovenly. Time erodes because they embrace low standards and bad manners modeled by those they admire or perhaps fear. Hence the erosion of morality.

Morals no longer provide the guidance, protection or distinction they once did. Instead we do what we shouldn’t because we can, only to indict moral’s demands. In our ignorance, we blame life and blast time for frustrating our designs.

Time, however, rightly understood, stewards the moral though it permits malice. Consider, for example, war and disease, how it uses these to shorten lifespans and to change birth cycles. Consider mortality rates and the malicious rants that precede war — “fire and fury,” for example.

Consider how time uses its cycles to chasten us when we thrust beyond wisdom, prudence and common sense. Hence our experience of common dents (terrorism, disease and terminal diagnoses). Time uses these to remind us of the need to live responsibly. We err when we act otherwise.

How can we be wise when we reject what matters most? How can we use time rightly while pursuing paths that impoverish? Who but us can replenish the earth and furnish time with tasks that ensure our survival? How can we ensure this save through a right use of time and by embracing moral responsibility, the quality that crowns humanity?

What but morality distinguishes us from other creatures? By morality, we receive rights and perceive wrongs otherwise imperceptible. Consider, for example, historical cycles, how they sanction moral impulses even when these impulses are ignored and denied.

Consider, even then, how history’s trends lend themselves on our behalf until we embrace the need to develop ourselves. Our response determines whether we pass time’s test.


joelbryantA former corporate trainer and university lecturer, Dr. Joel Bryant is an avid reader, writer, speaker, thinker and dreamer. He is also the author of over 40 books on various topics, each exploring themes of change, growth and greatness. He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UNC Charlotte, where he spent five years lecturing in the Philosophy Department. He resides in Charlotte, NC.


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