I am fast approaching sixty – from the wrong direction (I am nearly sixty-three).
They say that time moves faster with age. They also say a watched pot never boils. And I am now convinced the two are related.
First, let us examine that pot; provided you turned the heat on, then of COURSE it will boil. What the adage means is that it appears to take a long time, if you just stand there watching it.
And this is true – however, disappear and do something for just a couple of minutes and you will return to a kitchen full of steam (actually, more properly, condensation) with the pot bubbling away like Vesuvius.
How does this happen? Well, apply some science: use a timer and you will discover the pot took the same amount of time on both occasions – it was just the PERCEPTION of its passing that changed.
The job you did actually took way more than a “couple of minutes” – but it SEEMED quick, because your mind was occupied. Whereas just hanging around, EVERYTHING appears to drag.
So how does this relate to time passing faster as you get older? Surely, if ACTIVITY makes time appear to move faster, I have just defeated my own argument – it should ZIP past when you are YOUNG.
But no. The phenomenon has nothing to do with ACTIVITY – it is about INVOLVEMENT.
And the young are NOT more involved with life than the elderly – they just care about different THINGS. Like celebrity trivia, video games, rap and hip-hop, “reality” TV, social networking, graphic novels (expensive comic books) and the CGI movies derived from them.
While we old fogeys care NOTHING for such rubbish – why should we?
What WE worry about are things like cruelty to children, animals – and adults. The destruction of nature. The corruption of those put in place to HELP us. War, poverty, greed and stupidity.
And our concern is exacerbated by the knowledge (long-acquired wisdom in fact) that there is f#@$ all we can DO about it.
So what is the solution? How can we slow down the speed at which we old geezers are dying? Care LESS?
Not at all. It is a BLESSING, since with age comes increased physical and mental decrepitude – and no-one wants that.
The fact is, the MORE we old-timers care about how f#@$ed up our World is – the faster we will LEAVE it.
And now, a song…