Tick, tock.

Do Contribute | Social Entrepreneur

Tick turns to tock turns to tick turns to tock. The repetitive flick of the second-hand haunts us. Time is passing faster.

Of course it isn’t.

It travels at the same speed as it always has done.

A second at a time.

We don’t get a second time.

When you’re young you gorge on time. There’s so much of it. It’s never-ending. In fact, you want it to speed up. You want it to go faster so that you can get to “big” school sooner; stay-out after dark; have sex legally; drink legally; vote. Then in your 20s and 30s time travels at the right speed. Everything feels good. Life is balanced. But then someone presses fast-forward and the clock speeds up.


You want it to slow down. You cling on to it. You dig your heels in. But nothing slows it.

You spend more of your time in the past. The thing about the past is that it has already happened. You can’t change it, you can’t make it better. Nothing you think about the past will make the future any better.

Now you’re panicking. That thing that you wanted to do, that bit of magic in you that you’d forgotten to show anyone, that idea that needed water, light and soil; what if you don’t get time?

Right now you’re expecting me to say “the future starts now” or “there’s no time like the present”. I’m not. But I will say that there are two types of time: Chronos and Kairos. The Greeks knew a thing or two and they had this twin-time idea. Chronos is the time we are used to, the tick-tock of linear time. This is the one that runs out. That panics you. But Kairos time, well that’s different. Kairos time is the time that’s right for you to do something; the time that’s right for you to do your thing; it’s your time.

Think of time like this and stuff changes. You take your time; you chose your time; you bide your time. Time becomes less of a resource and more an issue of, well, timing.

So, don’t panic. Be ready for your time. It’s coming.

Mark Shayler

Social Entrepreneur

Mark Shayler

Eco innovator, public speaker (quite funny), trainer, founding partner of the Do Lectures also running Do Workshops. Working on making things better and making better things.

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Illustration by Tanya Griffiths

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