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hey! what's your rush, mate?

hurry up. you’re going to be late. grab something at the convenience store and eat on the road. take the microwaveable pizza out of the freezer and drum your fingers impatiently for two and a half minutes. unwrap the prepackaged muffin and brush the crumbs from your shirtfront. ok, you’re presentable, ready for work, ready to watch your favourite programme on the telly, ready to go to bed, whatever. does this sound familiar? do you ever stop to wonder why you’re in such a rush?

probably not. no time anymore to stop and smell the roses, it seems. in this world of inflated prices and deflated wages, it’s as though we need to rush through each day to make ends meet. and for too many of us, this is true. the finer things of life are no longer available to a large majority of our population, but many of the simple things have been lost as well. of these simple things i will attempt to speak now.

time, perhaps one of the most significant simple things in life because all that we do hinges upon the passage and distribution of time. aside from life itself, i would almost rank time at the top of the list. but why is it that we seem to have so little? the time we used to spend learning, teaching, living, has been reduced to a smattering of minutes throughout our days. yet this loss of time has occurred seemingly unnoticed as we speed along the highways in our frenetic ant farm way. parents used to spend time with children. teachers used to spend time with students. people used to spend time living. our world has become a bastion of speed. everything has to be faster. new, improved, faster than ever. faster cars, faster computers, faster workers, faster education, faster surgery, faster meals. do you even have free time any more? do you remember what it was like?

like so many things we have lost, time doesn’t wait, and it never comes back. this need for speed is bound to be the downfall of society as we knew it. in the market, walking along the artificially lighted blankness of the aisles, you will find a plethora of so-called time saving items. ready-made meals that require only minutes in the microwave. furniture polish that all-but guarantees stain repellance. detergents that do the jobs that once required several stages. liquid iced tea concentrate to which you add water. prepackaged cookie dough and biscuits. microwaveable pancakes. and the need for speed does not stop at the supermarket checkout line. internet providers advertise faster connections. car companies announce faster vehicles. the postal service boasts faster deliveries. computer manufacturers make faster systems.

with all the speed that envelops us, we find ourselves even shorter on quality time. who most feels the effects of this loss? subsequent generations learn less and receive less real education. so here we sit, on the gaping maw of a new milleneum, and we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. have you ever wondered why teen angst has become so violent in recent decades? allow me here to voice my opinion. public schools are not day care facilities. now many people may agree with that statement, but why has this society begun to treat them as such? inflated costs of living and deflated wages cause loss of time which in turn leaves the next generation without guidance. the intelligence of the youth is lost in the apathy of the adults, and the kids know it.

why are there more ad campaigns than ever encouraging parents to talk to their children about such things as sex and drugs? the family unit has denucleized, and families don’t talk anymore. in our rush to make a buck, to leave our pitiful mark on the world, we have forgotten to take a few moments of our precious time to teach our kids those things that our parents were taught, to take an hour to play ball in the back yard, to take a few minutes to show an honest interest in the education of our next generation. these are the people who will be ruling the world, and we have nothing to give them but apathy.

so take a little bit of time to stop and smell the roses. look around you and slow down. the world looks different when you take time for it. parents, take some time to involve yourselves in the life of your child. parenthood never ends—eighteen doesn’t mean anything outside legal circles. kids, take a moment to enjoy your youth. all too soon it will be but a memory, and it’s up to you to make that memory good. maybe, just maybe, if we can all just take a few moments of fleeting time, we can begin to regain those simple things of life; we can realise how important the simple things are. leave the finer things for later, when you can understand what they’re really worth.

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