Aries – Mental – Knees: WHEN

Daniel Pink talks about timing in his book The Science of Finding the Right Time. He focuses on how we know that timing is everything. The problem is that we don’t know much about timing itself. Life presents us with an endless stream of «when» decisions: when to change careers, deliver bad news, schedule a class, end a marriage, go for a run, or get serious about a project or a person. But most of those decisions flow from a steaming swamp of intuition and guesswork. Knowing how to choose the right moment is an art, we think.

The place to start is time itself. If we study the history of time – from the first sundials in ancient Egypt to the first mechanical clocks in 16th century Europe and the emergence of time zones in the 19th century – we will quickly realize that much of what we assume to be «natural» units of time are actually fences built by our ancestors in order to corral time. Seconds, hours, and weeks are human inventions. Only by pointing them out – wrote historian Daniel Boorstin – «could mankind free itself from the cyclical monotony of nature.»

But there is one unit of time that remains beyond our control, the epitome of the cyclical monotony to which Boorstin referred. We live on a planet that rotates on its axis at a constant speed following a regular pattern, exposing us to regular periods of light and darkness. We call each rotation of the Earth a day. The day is perhaps the most important way we have of dividing, shaping, and evaluating our time.

Time permeates our language and influences our thinking in even more profound ways. Most of the world’s languages use verb tenses-especially past, present, and future tenses-to convey meaning and reveal thoughts. Almost every sentence we say is tinged by tense. In a sense, we think in verb tenses. Especially when we think about ourselves.

I invite everyone to read Matias’ post with the topic of the day.

Finally, I encourage everyone to reflect on the concept of the day. No one else but us can re-signify our own being

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