Time flows. Faintly. It could even go by rapidly, so abruptly that you could barely perceive its movement, and still it would be there. There’s just one certainty : it’s passed.

As time goes by, hands do something else, while they attempt to measure it: they turn swiftly and, in doing so, they circumscribe a circle, which could ideally be infinitely retraced.

In claiming so, I mean that we could use our finger to pursue the never-ending line, which that aforementioned circumference draws, as many times as we please and still be bound to get back to the start over and over again. At the same rhythm, the clock ticks on.

Can’t you feel the time passing? Just imagine that you will be living the amount of time you spent on reading this article even tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and so on. Day by day.

Each one of them very different from the other, but still lasting the same 24-hour.

What shall we do then?

We dance.

As for that song that makes you want to dance, we stick to time’s intriguing pulse and cannot do anything, but follow its lead.

Time marks our steps, by making our bodies move.

It tames us, it determines our choices, by “dwelling” every instant of our lives. Just to be clear, I do not want to torment what it is supposed to be a moment of anodyne reading, by making you all anxious about existential issues related to the perpetual flow of time, but isn’t it true that it is the actual protagonist of every day of ours? We spend a lot of time thoroughly drafting study plans, which we  promptly do not fulfil, just to optimise the available time.

We set up appointments based on precise schedules and we reprimand others or we are even told off because of possible delays.

Not only vacations, trips, experiences, but also projects, assignments etc. depend on the amount of time available we have.

Weren’t time so paramount, it wouldn’t be so ever-present.

Yet, it is and its flow is relentless.

A practical example of this assumption can be found in the radical changes quarantine has entailed within our existences: loads of people in fact, have switched from a very hectic and busy life to a very flat and monotonous one, in which they were constantly looking for something to do to fill their days. From this peculiar perspective, time is surely seen as a ruthless enemy. As the cultural association Danzarte writes “when we are not busy, we are far more tethered to reality”.

But what does tethered to reality actually mean?

As we live within the frenzy of our daily life, scarcely do we think about the present (the so called qui et ora), as we strive to focus upon the future. Present time is, instead, extremely precious, for it is the only one we can truly control and, in a certain way, exploit.

I reckon it is fair enough to claim that time is money, for it possesses an actual value within nowadays society, which is scattered with rush, competition, self-absorption, egotism and results to be void of any form of selflessness and helpfulness. Under this circumstance too, it is clear that every principle needs their own time to be absorbed by society. The lockdown gave us a chance to make even the most trivial action a special and valuable moment within our day, something that could really make a change within our monotonous existences.

Time is a recurring topic within the environmental issue too.

Deadlines for the reduction of pollution have already been set up. Lots of countries have decided to partake within this debate and  several measures are therefore being introduced as, for instance, the alleged Green Deal, which sets 2050 as the year in which Europe shall reduce its CO2 emissions to zero.

Despite the numerous doubts about the actual feasibility of this project, because of both the high level of corruption within many member states’s administrative body and the risk for the economies facing the post-covid plight, EU will use the European Green Deal as a compass for the future development of the Union.

Once again, we are talking about future, but we should focus upon present time instead. I guess that aiming attention at the current time is essential, if we really want to change course towards a more sustainable world.

To conclude, if we accept the fact that time flows regardless of our personal will, it will not be so difficult to understand that the way we use our time is completely upon us. The Nobel Prize-winner R. Tagore reminds us how simple this whole question is “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has enough time.”

Drawing inspiration from the famous quote by professor Keating , from the 1989 film Dead Poet Society, I can claim that the only thing left for us to do is attempt to “make [our] lives extraordinary”.

Extraordinary as the time we have left.

Riccardo Sosio

Translated by Lorenzo Tarchi