Sunday, August 14, 2011

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

Does anybody care?  That title question and the one that followed were contained in a pop song popular in the 1970s, I believe.  I think it could have been recorded by Three Dog Night but I could be wrong and if I am it is okay to tell me the group that really recorded the song.  The questions posed in the song, however, are just as true today as they were when the song was recorded.  Yes, they do have to do with whether or not anyone really knows what the literal time of day is AND if anyone really cares what time is it.  The questions have a lot to do, though, with whether or not anyone really cares about anything.

Caring about anything is a matter of priorities.  We all care about what we care about because we think those things are important enough to care about.  We do what we do because we want to do it.  After we stop being children, there are few of us who are ordered about to do things against our will unless we are being held captive in a hospital or prison or some other facility from which we cannot escape.  Otherwise, we generally do what we want to do because we want to do it.  No one forces us to do what we do not want to do.

Yes, we go to work because we have to go to work even when we do not feel like going to work because there are bills to pay and obligations that must be met, but we all know of people who just suddenly decided to stop going to work and fulfilling the obligations because they had enough and would prefer to live on the street or with a kind relative rather than have to do what was required to live the life they were living.  No one forced them to continue their job or keep coming home to the family.  They just gave up the rat race and all there was in it and preferred to be poor and happy being poor.  Maybe they gave up the will to care about it also. 

That is what I mean by people having to care about something in order to do it.  We do things that we would perhaps prefer to not do simply because we recognize the need to do it if we want to continue to have benefits that may be accrued from our doing those things.  We also do not do things because we do not value them, for one reason or the other.  When we really do not care one way or another about something, then whether it happens or not or whether we are involved with it or not is of no concern to us.

The song asks, "Does anyone really know what time is it?" implying that our concept of what time it is may not always be accurate.  We may look at our watch and decide what time it is and someone else may have a watch with a completely different time on it.  The time may be on my watch or the watch belonging to someone else but who is to say whose time is correct, and who is to say that we should even care.   

Caring about the things of life that we do not care about takes a will to do so.  It means that we reach a place in life where our needs or desires are not the only ones that we can care about.  It means that we put others and our faith community ahead of our own pleasures.  It means that we determine in life that life can be broader than what it is for us.  When we decide that life will be what it will be then we will be able to know what time it is for us.  Our lives can be what we want them to be by putting our priorities where they should be. 

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