Time Change

Once again, the clocks have changed. “Spring forward, Fall back” as the saying goes – a useful tip for those of you who can’t remember which way is up in March and October.
Like so many things, changing the clocks is one of those things we do without really thinking about it. We just do it because someone somewhere once said we should. Some people blame Benjamin Franklin who felt he was wasting his valuable day time in Paris lolling about in bed – as if that was France’s fault. Couldn’t he have just gotten up?
Others say it is to make use of the long daylight hours during summer while others claim it saves energy…
Well, my clock says it is 6:40 am. It is pitch black outside and I have the lights on. I don’t have Ben Franklin’s luxurious lifestyle, I should be getting ready for work. Last week, I was going out in the morning and it was already light, now I shall have to wander about in the dark for another hour.
When I get home it will be light – but what have I saved? I still had to turn on the lights in the morning so I could see what I was doing. I might turn them on a little later in the evening, but nevertheless, I will turn them on. It will happen, it is not preventable.
So, please, tell me where have I saved and what have I saved? I lost an hour’s sleep because Ben could not bear staying in bed? Because in 1966 someone decided we all need to do something that will inconvenience us twice a year – legislation brought about by people who obviously did not own cows, have children or work.
Where am I going with this?
What would happen if in October no one bothered to listen and we simply did not change our clocks? Would the world stop turning, would the planet tip on its head, would there be floods, natural disasters, upturned governments, flames in the sky and a thundering voice declaring our imminent doom?

Most likely we might be early for work. That could make our bosses quite happy, all things considered.

What if we applied this to other things in our lives?
To the general conformity – things we do because we are supposed to do them? The ones we repeat over and over again because we have been told to. I will go out on a limb here and say everyone has something like that and has never actually thought why do I do that? The things we have been told to do because they serve some greater purpose. and we will do it, unquestioningly because, well he said so. Or she said so. Or someone said so at some point so it must be right.

I beg you all to read, or if you do not have the patience for little words on a piece of paper, to listen to an excellent story called “The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forester. You can find an audio version on Librivox. I will not tell you what it is about so as not to spoil it for those of you who have never heard of it – we are so enamoured with “1984” we quite forget there were other visionaries who wrote things too. “The Machine Stops” was first published in 1909 – when you are can get your head around that, the story should actually terrify you, freeze the very marrow in your bones. It was a vision in 1909 but it is practically our reality today.

I cannot, my dear reader, tell you what is wrong with changing the clocks. I just hope one day you will realise it for yourself.

Photo by Thomas Brenac on Pexels.com


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