Continuing a thought embedded in my last post I wonder anew about our obsession with Daylight Savings. It seems like we visit and debate the topic every few years, making changes back and forth. Some argue that we’re actually trying to save the Evening; that the energy conservation rationale is merely a rationalization. I’m trying to find out what we do that’s so important it needs an extra hour of daylight. We finish work at 5pm or thereabouts so that can’t be the real reason; in any case, we burn lights throughout the day in our offices and homes, so we’re not really saving any energy. Maybe an hour more of golf or some other sport? But how about winter? Besides, what we’re really doing is stealing from Morning to give to Evening, robbing Eos (Aurora) to placate Hespera! Why not just go to bed early and wake up an hour earlier?
Could it be that we’re afraid not just of the Dark but also of Time? Think about it; everything we do suggests that we think of Time as an opponent to be attacked, diced into slices, and controlled so we can apportion and assign tasks to every minute of the day–the American work ethic, we say. It seems to be different in countries with ancient cultures–they have a more friendly perspective of Time, are more willing to meander along with it. They don’t see it in terms of hours and minutes or even days; after billions of yesterdays they know there’s always another tomorrow.
For us each day somehow seems unconnected to the one before or after. We rush through every hour for fear of wasting minutes as though Time were an expendable commodity, as though there’s a close of business in everything we do. We invent mindless television, internet search engines to surf incessantly for inane and unseemly things, talk radio, and cyberspace social networks to fill the inevitable spaces in our day, to pretend we’re engaged in something, anything–god forbid that we sit quietly and think or read. In fact, we don’t just work anymore, we multi-task–hyper-extending linear time in vertical directions, piling on more work into every moment.
We have less free time than any other country–and more stress. Perhaps if we didn’t have Daylight Savings we’d sleep more and work less! How bad could that be?!