As Time Goes By

April 11, 2012

I’ve been  thinking  a lot recently about the passage of time.  What does it mean and how do we mark it?

I like to celebrate & commemorate anniversary dates of different events – some of us  do and some prefer not to – that preference can be personal, organizational or cultural.  Many of us who try to fit too much into 24 hours would like to slow time down.  Other times, perhaps when we are awaiting someone, or waiting for something important to happen, we wish that it would speed up.

Here are a few things that have been influencing my recent thoughts regarding time:

•    8 years have passed since my book was published – I was hoping it would have a span of more than a couple of years, and as this review that recently came to my attention shows, it has.  In this era of constant change, when or how do ideas become obsolete?  Are there ones that we hope to keep relevant and if so how do we do that?  I’ve been speaking with a historically successful and relevant organizational client that is concerned about how to stay that way with the passage of time and the changes that come with it.
•    Tom Dawkins of StartSomeGood.com  wrote a blog on returning to Australia after 4 years in the U.S. – Tom is a colleague who has a great talent for joyously commemorating, and thoughtfully reflecting on anniversary dates and important milestones.
•     A discussion by co-founder Hildy Gottlieb of Creating the Future on how to celebrate CTF’s 3rd anniversary  – on a number of different social media platforms Hildy has been asking for example of ‘rituals’ that other organizations may have used to commemorate anniversaries.

And  of course I am fascinated by the cultural perceptions of time:

•    This video “The Secret Powers of Time” Secrets of Time provides some interesting perspectives on how our views of time can be shaped by our culture.
•    In a recent blog Karen Kilberg  provides some interesting reflections on her perceptions of “Western” vis a vis “African” time and how we can adapt ourselves to different paces of life  I have certainly shared Karen’s experiences when I’ve traveled or lived in different places.  Being in a completely different environment can encourage us to observe and question our own approaches to time and try out variations.

We can’t control the passage of time (it will continue to move along) but we can choose our relationship to it.  And it is certainly one of these areas in which we can learn a lot from the perspectives of others.