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How quickly does time pass for you?

BOB'N'ALONG by Bob Stealey

EDITOR

Time today is the same as it was 100 or 500 years ago. Sixty seconds still equals one minute and 60 minutes equal one hour, and so on and so on.

So why do some folks insist that time passes by so much more quickly than it did when they were kids? Because like many other things, time is relative.

Let me illustrate. Do you remember when you were in a classroom in school, say, in the third grade? Maybe it was a Friday afternoon, one hour 'til dismissal time. Maybe you keep looking at your watch.

"My golly, time passes so slow," you might say. (Obviously, you're not in English class.) "I can't wait 'til the school year is over and it's summer vacation."

What you may not have realized back then was that when summer vacation finally did arrive and you were outside having fun, the days passed more quickly than you could keep track of, and before you knew it, it was time to return to school. Any difference between the passage of time in the third and in the fourth grades was minimal.

When you were young and you complained about how slowly the days were passing, perhaps you were surprised when an adult would say to you, "You'd better enjoy it while you can, kiddo! Wait 'til you get to be my age."

Then, when you grew to be a teenager or young adult, somehow or the other the minute hand on your watch had sped up a wee bit. Actually, a second seemed more like a second and a minute like a minute. Well, you know how the routine goes.

The day when you suddenly began to notice time passing by more rapidly might have arrived when you were in your late 30s or early 40s. Seemingly, every year after that felt as if it had been put through a linear accelerator. The speed of that ol' second hand began to increase exponentially.

By this time, you get the idea, so I needn't delve into what happens in your 60s, 70s and 80s, right?

As a teenager -- I consider it ages 12 to 20 -- probably I never did keep track of time in terms of seconds, hours, days and weeks. All I recall is that I was a student in four different schools: Grade school, junior high, high school and college.

Today, I feel that 1993 was just a couple of days ago, not 10 years. 'See what I'm saying about your own perspective of time at certain ages?

All this does bring me, however, to a point or two I'd like to make with regard to time.

In your mind, think of a span of time. Let's say eight years. (It's a number that has been coming to mind with me lately). Whatever may be your age in years today, even if it's 60, eight years is still a fairly sizable chunk of it, wouldn't you say?

Undoubtedly you've heard folks say, "Life is so short." That's true. To God, the number of years a person is permitted on this earth is but a speck in the entire universe, if you want to see the big picture.

It's so very important how we spend that time we have. Perhaps you've asked yourself lately, "Have I really made a difference?" What if the answer, deep down in your heart of hearts, is "no"? Man, there should be time enough left for you to still make the difference that you'd like, even if you're locked away in a prison cell someplace.

Ask the omnipotent, omnipresent One where you can start. I have a feeling He'll show you.

Have a great day!

Editor Bob Stealey can be reached at (304) 626-1438 or by e-mail at rstealey@exponent-telegram.com