Friday, March 18, 2016

Time...Linear or Fluid?

Do you ever sit back and observe how fast time moves, regardless of whether you want it to or not? As a child, I had bittersweet feelings about the book/movie Little Women because everyone grew up and moved on. I enjoyed the first half of the movie when Jo and the girls dressed up and played with Laurie but [Spoiler Alert for you uncultured people who haven't seen it or read it]...once they became adults, the relationships altered. The friendships you have as a child often aren't the ones you have as an adult.

In my two of my classes at CIT we have discussed Time (or rather, how a society measures time). Many of the Western worlds see time as monochronic. We like to do things one at a time. "Time is money" reflects this well. Other cultures such as the Arabic Middle East and Asia employ polychronic time. They perceive time as fluid and often value the relationships or experiences gained rather than achieving any specific activity along the journey.

In today's Intercultural Business Culture class, our professor played the song "7 Years" by Lukas Graham. It is a bittersweet song about a man looking at the stages of his life, from the age 7 to 11, 20, 30, and 60. Our lecturer wanted us to listen to it and then asked us to write on a sheet of paper what we were doing at the age of 3, 6, 9, 12, etc. in three year increments. After this, he asked us to write on the other side 7-9 events that occurred throughout our life that impacted us the most.

While listening to the song, I started to think about another song "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin.  When I was really young, my father and I used to listen to this song while in the car on the way to errands. When my father passed away a year and a half ago, if I am being honest I didn't let myself grieve. I jumped back into school, anything to distract myself. Listening to "7 years" in  today's class and thinking about "Cat's in the Cradle" brought things into perspective. We often set up our lives with specific goals in mind. Get good grades, get a job, get married, have kids... we forget to to enjoy ourselves and the people around us. That is my biggest regret. I got so caught up with getting good grades or hanging out with friends I ignored when my father wanted to hang out or do things with me. I became the "Cat's in the Cradle".

This is experience in Ireland is not only eye-opening, its important because I'm seeing life doesn't have to go jumping from one goal to another. We can take a side route and enjoy our family and friendships at the same time. If you do anything today, listen to "7 Years" and "Cat's in the Cradle". Hug someone you appreciate. Time moves whether we want it to or not. We can choose to measure our achievements by our age, or we can look at specific events that altered our life.

P.S. Sorry for the heavy material...

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