“He’s murdering the time, off with his head!” is one of my favorite quotes from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and exemplifies for me the core of what this Maxim is all about – wasted time. We are all guilty of procrastination occasionally, and I am no exception. The morning that I am writing about this Maxim, I am having to fight to actually DO this instead of playing games on the computer or getting up to have yet another cup of coffee.
Time is one of our most precious of assets, and one of the things that we most tend to discount even though there are sayings about it throughout our everyday speech. For example, instead of the word “occasionally” we often say “from time to time”, or “It takes time” when we mean “be patient”. The Greek language has two words meaning time — kairos and chronos. While kairosmeans time as opportunity, chronosmeans time as we think of it – seconds, minutes, hours, days, and years. And it is chronosthat this Maxim is speaking of when it speaks of the time we are not to waste. Each second that passes is another second that will not return to us and it is up to us to use that time as efficiently as possible to get the things done that we need to. This in turn frees us up to look at time in its aspect as kairos for what we WANT to do.