Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Humans, we are told, occupy the highest level of intelligence in the animal kingdom. Humans are supposed to be the smartest of all the animals. If that is true, then how would you explain daylight saving time?

We just advanced our clocks one hour to daylight saving time. That reminds me of a cartoon I once saw that showed an Indian trying to explain the whole thing. He opined that white man was the only one on earth who believes you can cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom and think you will wind up with a longer blanket.

Time is indeed a natural reality but the actual measuring of time is a human invention. Lesser animals tell time by daylight and darkness. They tell seasons by temperature. Mealtime is when hunger and opportunity meet and bedtime is when they are tired.

Humans are the only animals who know how old they are. And, I might add, the only ones who care. Think about this, humans and their pets are the only animals who die of old age. What if you were stranded in a mountain cabin with no electricity and no outside communication? You would have no clock. How long would it take you to figure out mealtime and bedtime? How about the seasons? If you were cold, you would figure out a way to get warm. If you were too warm, you would try to find a way to cool off. Mealtime again would be a meeting of hunger and opportunity and of course bedtime would come when you were tired.

In the natural world plants come alive in the spring. A combination of daylight and warmth causes them to start their annual growth process. They bear their leaves and their fruit. Within that fruit is the seed for the next generation. At the end of their growing season, they drop their fruit for the next generation to take root and ultimately replace them.

Most animals in the wild mate at such time as to have their offspring in the spring. That gives them the advantage of the warmth and the growing plants. Their lives are just that. They are born, they live for a period, produce offspring to replace them, and then they die making way for the next generation.

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if we didn’t measure time. Imagine life without a clock. Imagine life without a calendar. What if you just ate when you were hungry and went to bed just when you were tired. Can you even wonder how much stress is caused by the need to adhere to measured time?

Most of us have to get up to go to work or school. We set our alarm clocks. We do that because to wake up when we are still sleepy requires another man made invention, the alarm clock. What if you could just wake up when your body had enough sleep? Many of us face commuter time going to work and returning home. Why? Because everybody else is on the same schedule. They all had to set their clocks too.

We do what we have to do to make a living, feed our families, and supply ourselves with the “necessities” of life. In so doing, we become slaves to measured time. Oh well, life is what it is.

Sometimes it is fun, though to just wonder about some things that have long been the norm, like the measuring of time. This all started because my wife mentioned the other day, it is already the end of March. Time is just flying by. We have both noticed that it seems to go much quicker as we get older. I also believe that time flies when you are having fun and we are both definitely having fun. We hope you are too.

Ron Scarbro

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