Time is a curious thing.

Arguably, time is the single most important basis by which we measure our lives. The temporal yardstick that allows us to compare successive events relative to one another. Whether we had a good time, or a bad time. The timing of particular experiences that lead us to formulate broader patterns regarding the isolated, day-to-day happenings. Asking, what time is it?, to make sense of our current position in reality.

Without time, what would life be like?

I can’t imagine the answer to this question. Actually, even trying to contemplate this question terrifies me. Such contemplation implies a hypothetical in which all sense of rationality and order must be removed from my mental construct. Any preconceptions I currently have about life and the universe must be eradicated.

I think about the role of time in our conceptions of the world around us because of the way time plays funny tricks in my everyday, layman life. How days can pass and yet Monday seems very much like a Saturday. How years can pass and yet what happened 5 years ago seems like yesterday, while what happened a week may seem like years ago. How, when in the present moment everything seems so vivid and real, yet when it all comes to pass, that moment becomes fixated in a vague and surreal memory.

Often, we think of time as a concrete object, even as a personified figure. Hey Time, stop moving so quickly. Stop sprinting and slow down a bit so we can all take a breather here.

Time plays with our hearts, as well as our minds. We grow sentimental and nostalgic for times that we cannot recover, and we eagerly anticipate times that will occur. Dreaming takes place in both the form of wistfulness for the past and imagination for the unknown future.

Time controls our movements and our behavior. We are bound within our own mental construct of time, limited by the arrows on the clock.

These qualities of time attest to its incredible power over us. Our existence depends on time — in fact, our sanity, our way of living, our emotions all depend on time.

So, I ask you again: without time, what would life be like?


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