The Value of Time

By Anna Mackiewicz

Consider any time that you may recall discovery about an epidemic, a natural disaster, or a mass murder. Had this situation been briefly mentioned to you with an overview of the events while the informant almost immediately returned, in a very calm state, to previously planned agenda? Have you thought about whether suppressing focus upon certain realities is the most optimal?

Although the media tends to focus upon an event that cruelly plagues a vast number of individuals, there may be a cultural tendency to detract thought away from such events when the course of the events cannot be directly changed. Certain people, also, begin to resent that any individual death or calamity attracts media attention as they decry that such situations merely happen all of the time. Is this a tacit acceptance, or an expression of hopelessness?

It is unquestionable that how we focus our time reflects what we most value in that moment or what simply allows us to experience the most relief. However, it is more questionable when a default exists where our daily, regular plans like a trip out to the bar, a session in class, or simply the next upbeat, disingenuous facial expression becomes more significant than recognizing our devaluation of loss.  Somber emotional expression is not just an empty vent. Time detracted to mourn is not just a moment that detracts from economic progress. What we notice the most imprints upon us the heaviest. If we dedicate time to venting and mourning people whom we claim to value in the slightest, we imprint upon society that each person’s value is more significant than our daily routines. We emphatically show unity in this recognition, rather than assuming that it is known. Observing an expression of loss may allow us to think more often about the relationship between our lives and those whom society has paused for.  With the thought of loss entering our minds more frequently, we center our lives less upon the empty pleasures of a routine and more upon the idea that freely united concern may be possible.

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