καιρος over χρονος

“The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos (χρόνος, “krown-os”) and kairos (καιρός, “kai-ros). While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action. What is happening when referring to kairos depends on who is using the word. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative, permanent nature.”

 

Time ticks by fast enough on its own; every heartbeat, every exhale, every haircut, every sunset.

Yes, time can pass by on its own without us having to anything, really.

But we seem to think we own time. We say phrases that imply ownership of time:

“I don’t want to waste time”

“I can carve out 15 minutes for you”

“I don’t have time for that.”

“Let me see if I can squeeze you in my calendar”

To these owners of time I merely reply:

“Stop spilling time all over the floor! What a mess.”

“Carve out? OH! Show me how!! Sounds delicious!”

“Then go to the store and buy some more.”

“I would prefer not to be squeezed into a calendar, thank you. I fit rather nicely on planet earth.”  

Since, to my knowledge, dear reader, humans can only function inside of time, we can, to a certain extent, change the way we operate inside of time.

Maybe we can choose slow instead of fast. καιρός over χρόνος.

Make the hour feel like two.

Make coffee last until it needs reheating.

Fall asleep in the hammock in your backyard.

Enjoy a three hour meal with friends.

Stare into the clouds and talk back to them.

Intentional, qualitative.

 

And perhaps, as a result, when we learn learn we are ok inside time, we could release our pretend ownership of it. Set it free to be the thing it needs to be for the world.

Maybe, as well, we would cease use of these phrases that seem to demean the human experience. When you say you don’t have time for someone, you are really saying you don’t want to be with them. When you say you are upset about someone being late, then you are really afraid that someone has stepped on you. These are certainly conversations to have and bring awareness to how we move throughout our days, years, and lives. Work or at home. There is no sacred separate from secular because it is all sacred.

We could start treating each other better because we have live within the paradigm that we cannot control. We can live within χρόνος but live a life of καιρός.

Who’s in?

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