Why are we so afraid of sharing time? We are afraid of wasting time on someone or something that we find less important. We are scared to death when realizing that we haven’t got enough time. Time is in a really high rate of exchange these days. Isn’t it?
That is why it has become more and more difficult to get in touch with people you don’t have any personal connections to; people you know only by name or profession. It has become more difficult to establish connections to one another. Time is so precious to us.
You don’t have to be particularly known, rich or busy to be almost impossible to get in touch with – we are so many Very Important Persons out there who barely have time to check our emails and answering machines. Why is that?
It has always been common sense, at least to me, that the best way to approach other people is to show up in person (who said anything about authenticity?) or at least by conversation over the phone. And it is possible…if you are willing to spend a day or two calling, leaving messages, sending mails and then calling, leaving… It costs time to get access to other peoples “time”. Everybody wants a big piece of the time-cake.
I remember this book from my childhood, which by the way later became a movie (the book, not my childhood), Momo by Michael EndeThis is one of these stories told to children but really addressed to the adults reading them (like little black Sambo, Le petit prince and so on…). In Momo the grey men offers to keep track of the inhabitant’s time; to save it for them:
The odd thing was that, no matter how much time he saved, he never had any to spare; in some mysterious way, it simply vanished.
People never seemed to notice that, by saving time, they were losing something else. No one cared to admit that life was becoming even poorer, bleaker and more monotonous.
The ones who felt this most keenly were the children, because no one had time for them any more.
But time is life itself, and life resides in the human heart. And the more people saved, the less they had.
One could argue that by virtue of developments it has become easier to get in touch and reach one another; one could argue that technology actually has brought us closer to each other – but does the answering machine as well as the mailbox really works as bodyguards instead of making communication easier?
During the last week I have tried to get in touch with different more or less “important” persons, in connection with a certain project that I’m working on, and it has been more than difficult. In some cases it has been mission impossible. I feel frustrated because these people, whom I can’t seem to reach, really miss out something interesting. And what frustrates me the most is the thought of us being more and more selective when answering to peoples calls because we don’t want to waste time on unimportant phone calls…and unimportant people.
Are we in fact missing something here by being so tight-fisted when it comes to our time and sharing it with others? In spite of the fact that none of the people I tried to reach were royalties it was difficult to get past the secretary. Well, in one specific case I guess it was okay that the man himself didn’t have time to speak to me in person and that the chances of getting a meeting with him were rather poor. I will not go into details about this specific person. We can just call him Anders F.