The truth about time

08 December 2020 | Youth

Grace Burmeister-Nel



“People like us who believe in physics know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Those are the words of the famous physicist, Albert Einstein.

In a rather less complicated manner, he explains that time is an illusion.

The meaning behind this statement is that the concept of time is merely an illusion made up of human memories. Reality is timeless, according to Einstein.

The harder you think about it, the more it makes sense.

Time is such an important and mysterious concept, that even movies have been based on the idea and worth of it.

In Time is a movie in which Justin Timberlake plays the main character, where wealth is measured in the amount of time written on your forearm. The longer you have to live, the wealthier you are considered. This movie truly highlights time as an important commodity.

Time is also ‘defined’ in different ways by different cultures. Americans believe that time is linear. Their belief is profit-oriented, based solely on the idea of fast-moving time and the economic connection, thus the proverb “time is money”. To many Americans, there is only the future.

Southern Europeans believe in multi-active time, rather than linear-active time. Schedules and punctuality do not interest them, they choose to rather spend their time with human interaction, irrespective of what a clock says, according to exactlywhatistime.com.

The realisation of the importance of time leads me to question: Why do we waste so much time? When remembering a memory, you long for the time it took place. You long for time, which you had more of back then. We waste so much time on things that do not matter like being enslaved by our phones and social media, complaining about not having time and deciding what to wear when it doesn’t even matter.

Time is one of the most precious things that has been given to humanity and often we spend all of that time on unimportant or wasteful ideas. Worrying about the future - or even worse - worrying about the past and the things that we cannot go back and change.

In physics, time is defined as “what a clock reads”. I believe time has much more worth than just being a number. I tend to agree with the premise of In Time, time is a precious commodity.

We have such high expectations of what time is going to bring us and what secrets it holds but spending so much time thinking about it becomes a waste of time.

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