Are Time and Justice good friends or sworn enemies?

No time for justice! Some people do not believe that there is any justice in the world. Others believe that justice will always occur but it just takes time. I remember part of a quote that mentions justice grinding like a mill wheel, slowly but inevitably. Many believe that justice will not be found in this world but only in some after life when all accounts are called to order. The Old Testament notes that “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.” Perhaps, we will not find justice on earth but somewhere between heaven and hell, we will all be judged and sentenced. I have always wondered where Hitler and other mass murderers would end up and what criteria could be used to judge them.

In the USA, the Bill of Rights (Amendment VI) calls for a speedy and impartial public trial for all convicted of a crime. Justice is rendered today and you do not have to wait to have justice meted out. Justice is quick, fair and impartial. Or at least, it is supposed to be. Today the wheels of justice seem to grind much more slowly than envisioned by our American forefathers. Few of us would say that most trials are speedy, never mind impartial. Perhaps if the definition of a “speedy” trial had been defined we might be better able to judge the efficacy of the present US court system. What is speedy to some of us might be slow to others. No doubt we all want justice today for ourselves. Why then does it appear that few citizens are clamoring for trials to be made speedier? Is the right to a speedy trial no longer important? Are we more willing to tolerate delays in all aspects of our lives? Have we extended this to the court system so that we no longer feel that a speedy trial is important?

Maybe we should just rewrite the Bill of Rights to make the amendment more accurate. Perhaps it should read: “You are entitled to a trial, which with lawyers and court delays might take several years before it comes to court. If you can afford a better lawyer, you will have a better chance of winning your case.” What would you think of this change? Do you think trials should be speedy? Do you think it is important to have a speedy, fair and impartial justice system? Do you think most are? How would you feel if you were in the court system? Would you be a satisfied customer?

So are you proud that you are a multi-tasker?

I’m in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why (Alabama)

How true this song rings for so many of us. We are all in a hurry and we don’t know why. Where are we going? Why must we be in a hurry to get “nowhere” so fast? How frustrating life can seem when everyone wants everything fast. We have fast food restaurants, fast bank drive-ins, ATM’s, fast lanes, one hour prescriptions glasses, express lanes in the grocery stores, fast check-ins and fast checkouts at hotels and fast registrations for just about everything you can name. Amazon has instituted one-click shopping which has raised the bar even higher for fast service transactions.

As we speed life up more and more, we become less and less patient with waiting or spending even a second of “wasted” time. We take our frustrations out in road rage or an excess of pills to pacify our anxiety and tensions. We increasingly see the negative effects of rushing and multi-tasking. We have no time to spend thinking about whether or not we are rushing since we are so busy rushing we have no time to think. The cycle gets more vicious each day. We have completely relegated that old admonition “haste makes waste” to the dustbins of history.

When do you have time to stop or to do nothing or even to “waste” a minute? As you go through your activities today, see if you can be a little more patient. See if you can slow down a teeny bit. Use those opportunities when you are frustrated or feeling rushed to notice the flow in your life. Each moment of haste or impatience is an opportunity to slow the rush down. How many chances can you take today to slow the rush down? How many will you succeed at? Give your heart a break today! Give others a break! One of these breaks may just save your life.

Do you spend your time wisely and well?

Spending time! What an interesting concept. We say: “I would really like to spend some time with you or I would really like to be able to spend some time on that.” What does it mean to spend time? Is time like money? If time is like money, then do I only have so much to spend? What if I am rich, do I have more time to spend than a poor person. Can you be rich in time and poor in money? Well, regardless of how much money you or I have, each day we wake up with 24 hours of time in a day. Whether you are rich or poor, the length of the day is the same for each of us.

In the short term, money is always limited, but taking a long term view it can always grow or diminish. Time does not grow though. Our time runs down as each second, each minute, each hour, each day, each week, each month and each year brings us one step closer to finality. All the money in the world will not stop this inevitability. We all have a date with death at some point in our lives. Sooner for some and later for others, but it is inevitable for all. Unlike money in a bank though, each day brings me 24 fresh new hours to live. However, while I have 24 new hours to live each day, I will never see the same moments again in my life that I spent yesterday.

Thus, it is prudent to ask if you are spending your time wisely or foolishly. How did you spend your time yesterday? Was it a worthwhile purchase from your time bank or was it something very mediocre? Did you get your time’s worth? How will you spend your time today? Are you thrifty or profligate with time? Will you spend your time today buying what you need to live a happy and fulfilling life?

What will they say about you when you die?

Famous eulogies! Some eulogies are so memorable that they are forever etched into our minds and into history. Others will quickly be forgotten. Yes, we did talk about eulogies before. In fact, I asked you to write your own eulogy. Have you done it yet? Will your eulogy become famous? Go to Google and type in “eulogy” and you will find dozens of sites with links to famous eulogies.

Perhaps the most famous “funeral” oration of all time was not given at a funeral. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” was about what Dr. King wanted said at his funeral. He had a premonition of his own death and drafted this speech as a sort of pre-eulogy that he delivered himself. It is surely one of the most moving and memorable speeches of all time. Another famous eulogy, perhaps never given but immortalized by Shakespeare was the speech by Marc Antony after the murder of Julius Caesar. I can still hear ringing in my ears the words: “I come not to praise Caesar but to bury him.” Of course, this was a very ironic eulogy since Antony did not mean what he said and he turned the oration into a propaganda forum to inspire a revolt against Caesar’s murderers.

Most of us have probably never thought about our eulogies becoming famous, but who knows what can happen after we die. The point of creating your eulogy is not about becoming famous, it is about reflecting on the life you want to live. Someone said that dreams become goals when you put a date on them. Well, hopes and wishes can become real to but only when you put them out as intentions and desires. If you want to be the person in your dreams you will have to form the intention to be that person. When someone else is giving your eulogy it will be too late.

If you still have not written your eulogy or even if you have written it, go back and look it over again. Think about these questions again: What do I really want said about me when I die? What do I want people to remember me for? What would I say about myself if I gave my own eulogy speech today? What is memorable about my life that I would like history to remember me for? Now make a schedule to write your eulogy. When you have written it, the question to ask is “Can I live up to this?” If not, how do you need to change your life and when will you start to make these changes?

What is the link between time and hatred?

“Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it” – G. Santayana. I first came across this quote on a tablet engraved at Dachau, a German concentration camp during WW II. The camp is now a war memorial for the millions of Jewish people and others murdered by the Nazis. Today, more than 50 years later and we still are fighting over the truth of the Holocaust. There are still those who say the Holocaust never happened. Worse, there are those who sport Nazi arm bands and wear Hitler tattoos. Many of us have no wish to forget the past but we want to remember it accurately. It is not heritage when there is hate involved. It should not be remembered with nostalgia by the perpetrators when others suffered, died and were ignominiously buried. Imagine if someone suddenly said that crucifixions were an important part of their heritage and they did not want to forget them!

What a desecration to the past efforts of millions of Americans and others who gave their lives to wipe this disease of fascism and hate off of the face of the earth! To parade around in jack boots and Heil Hitler salutes is an insult to humanity. How in heaven’s name has it blossomed again and why? Are we so ignorant of the past that we do not think it can happen again? Do we not read the paper and notice the increased violence against minorities and immigrants. Why is this true? Why are we forgetting the past and allowing this rotten blight to spread? Are we willing to trade our freedom for security?

What about the past do you need to remember? What have you chosen to forget? Are you confusing heritage with hate? Do you romanticize the past and forget the evil that was often done to others?

What if it does take long?

This won’t take long! How often has someone said that to you or you have said that to someone else? A few years ago, I bought my first gas grill. I had never owned one and Karen and I decided it was time. To save a few bucks, I ordered it through the Internet. When it came, it was in one huge box which I had a hard time moving into the garage by myself. I vaguely remember something about it only taking fifteen minutes to put together. Well, it took me 30 minutes just to lay all of the parts out. Three hours and forty five minutes later, I had finished putting my grill together. Except for putting the batteries in backwards, I was able to fire the thing right up and do my first outside grilling at the age of 60. I was thrilled except when I thought how long it took me to put it together. I was even angrier the next day when after going to Home Depot, I found the same grill assembled. I could have purchased it there pre-assembled; with delivery and it would have only cost me 25 dollars more. Thus, my savings did not even come close to paying for my time, not to mention my aggravation.

We often underestimate the length of time it will take to do things. Sometimes we are misled by advertisements but often by our own misconceptions. The thought “this won’t take long” should be a red flag for most of us. On reflection, the phrase is seldom true. They say anything worthwhile takes time. We can do the worthless fast, but those things that are really meaningful and valuable will take more time.

What things and events do you most often underestimate? What jobs or tasks do you rush through? What work do you have to do today that you should allow more time for? What areas in your life should you spend more time on? It is a lot easier to be less frustrated and to do a better job when you can allow the right amount of time needed for the job and not worry about it “taking too long.”

Are your memories REAL?

Age gnaws at life
Without respite –
Incessantly; insidiously;
Unnerving in its non–rhythmicity:
Irregular pendulums–
Not on clocks–
Dump cold milestones:
Another wrinkle; another grey hair;
Another memory…Mark R. Slaughter, (From his poem Memories)

Have you ever noticed how time can change your memories? Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse! The old house that you were brought up in seemed so much bigger in your memory. The places that you visited seemed so far away. The people that you knew, some seemed kinder and some meaner. Time has a way of making things both greater and lesser than they really were.

Time also has a way of etching things in our memory that may never have been. Have you ever thought you were at some event or place and you can’t really remember how or when you got there? A friend of ours thought she had attended some such event and her husband insisted that she had not. They finally concluded that she might have seen some pictures of the event, known some people there and “projected” herself into the event. Her memories of being there were crystal clear, but she had never really been there. I can think of many places and events that I thought I was at but then realized I was “projecting” images and events from a book or article I had read. Over time, my mind imagined that I was part of the event. The event or place had now become part of my memory of places that I had seen or been to.

Sometimes time can change memories for the worse. People remember a negative event in their lives, perhaps someone hurt them or insulted them, and this event or person can grow in their minds until it engulfs them in anger or pity. It might have been a slight in some bygone role or some unintended rebuff from someone you cared about or whom you thought really cared about you. Or it might have been much more serious. Perhaps, it was a mother leaving an abusive relationship behind or perhaps it was a child running away from an abusive home. Over time, the negativity associated with the circumstances may grow until the only memories are filled with either anger or sadness. Our memories tend to paint things as black or white and we are often unable to see the shades of gray that really existed. People become all good or all bad.

Today I am going to wonder about the events and people in my life. Were they really what I remember them as being? Were they really that good or that bad? What if my memories are not actual projections of reality but fantasies based on hopes and desires in my mind and dreams? Do I want to change any of my memories? Do I have the power or desire to do so? What if I just let sleeping dogs lie? Is that the best solution?

What rules your life? Time or Passion?

I lost track of the time. Where did the time go? How often have you heard someone make this comment? Generally, it means we were so engrossed with what we were doing that we forgot we had another appointment or schedule. When we lose track of time, time no longer seems to exist. It is not moving fast or slow, it just does not seem to matter to us. I heard someone say recently that they did not wake up and say “gee, I have to go to work today.” Instead, they woke up and said “Wow, I get to go to work again today.” Can you imagine the difference between time for the first case and time for the second? Time in the first case is drudgery and time in the second is a joy.

When you do not enjoy what you are doing, time is the most oppressive. You check the clock. You wonder when the time will go by. You find ways to “break” up your time. The more “breaks” the better. When you enjoy or even love what you are doing, you forget the clock. You don’t worry about breaks or when it is time to go home. Sean John’s says “life without passion is unforgiveable.” He lives this in his daily life. His message is important for all of us. How many of us find lives that are full of passion? Why not? Is such a life beyond our reaches or do we just fail to make the choice?

The more our world is dominated by time, by pressures to do things faster, to multi-task, or to live in the fast lane, the less happy and more stressed we will be. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if time did not matter anymore and we could lose track of time on a permanent basis? What if our lives were so filled with passion that every second was one we could live with for eternity? What if we counted Passion instead of minutes?

When was the last time you lost track of time? Can you hardly wait to go to work today or do you count each workday between Sunday and Friday? Is your life filled with passion or wondering when the minute hand will move forward? Are you in the “Thank God it’s Friday” camp or in the “I am looking forward to Monday” camp.

Do you still use time clocks or time cards?

Time clocks are synonymous with the industrial revolution. Prior to industrial work, people thought of time as more cyclical. Time clocks went hand in hand with factory or machine and assembly line work. The concept of a “Time clock” is an oxymoron. Aren’t all clocks, time clocks? The industrial revolution was a period when brawn became more valued than brains. It was more important to measure the amount of time that a person worked (and this was equated with productivity and quantity) then the quality or creativity of their work. The information age and knowledge age has reportedly ushered in a quantum change in how we view and value work. Today, creativity and innovation have become highly prized, at least in word if not in deed.

On hears today that quality, creativity and innovation are the cornerstones of success in the 21st century business world. Nevertheless, we still see managers who are more concerned with the time clock as a measure of productivity than anything else.
How long did you work today is often more important than how much you accomplished or what new ideas and innovations you could come up with. We talk about allowing workers to telecommute, yet many managers express the view that: “how will I know what they are doing or if they are really working?” “Well, perhaps they will not get their job done and then you would know!” We may live in the knowledge age, but the industrial era mindset is still dominant in many workplaces.

It often takes a generation before minds catch up with new technology and paradigm shifts. We have 21st century needs and technology still driven by 20th century minds and concerns. Companies that cannot make the change are destined to go the way of the dinosaur. The same might be said for managers who cannot change their mindset.

What do you value in your workplace? Do you measure how much your employees contribute, including ideas and innovations or are you measuring how long they work and how many hours they put in? Do you have the power to change things? If so, when will you go from the 20th century to the 21st? When will you start treating your employees like knowledge workers rather than machines?

Are you aging like fine wine or moldy cheese?

We often hear the comment from someone getting older that they are “Aging like fine wine.” Well, yes, wine does gets better with age, but sadly, the human body does not. My joints and muscles are no longer as flexible as they once were. My body does not recover as fast from aches and pains as it once did, and I no longer dream of playing football on the weekends or any rough contact sports for that matter. My body seems to be aging more like cheese. It is getting softer and moldier around the edges. It might still be edible but it is not as fresh as it once was. The good side of this issue is that my brain is more nimble and astute than ever. The body will inevitably deteriorate, (even with plastic surgery), but the brain does not necessarily age the same way. Studies have shown that IQ can remain the same throughout one’s life, if you keep “exercising” the brain by reading, studying and learning. Now of course, the body will stay in better shape as well if you keep up with some exercising. However, no amount of exercising is going to keep the body in the same shape as when we were 21 or younger.

Then we come to the soul and spirit. Here is where age can really excel over youth. Through experience and moral exercise, we can all become better then we were. We can continue to grow spiritually and morally throughout our entire lives. We can leave this earth as better people. We can give back to the world some of what we took from it. However, this also requires exercise. It requires exercise of both moral and spiritual values. It requires moral and spiritual discipline. You will not grow in either area if you do not take the time to practice skills that lead to moral and spiritual development. The virtues of faith, hope, charity and love must be practiced daily or they atrophy like old moldy cheese.

What exercise do you get each day? Do you exercise morally and spiritually as well as physically and mentally? Which areas do you need to concentrate more on? Are you aging like a fine wine or like moldy cheese? What do you need to do to perk up your aging process?

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