I was listening to Dr. Milton Rosenberg’s podcast on an examination of English literature. As he and his guests were discussing various authors such as Boccaccio, Milton, Shakespeare, Johnson (Samuel), and Boswell, to name a few, I realized that all of them were dead! As funny as that sounds, it struck me that even though they all were dead, they left behind for all time works to read, ponder, and discuss. Some, like Milton, ask us through the ages to question our relationship with God. Others, like Johnson, observe society and politics, making comments and judgements as well as advice that we still harken back to even in this day. Finally, with the great Shakespeare, we get observations, stories based on his time, and a wonderful mirror into the nature of man not only in his time, but transcending time to today. None of this should be a revelation to the reader, but what I’m about to say very well may be. See, on some level, all of the great literature of any time period reflects the author’s view and vision of his or her time period. The literature also reflects the history of the period as the author sees it as well. They are aware, acutely so, of the world in which they live. They have examined it. This would suggest that they are also acutely aware of themselves during their time. In essence, they have a sense of their own mortality, and have demonstrated and preserved that sense through their literature. The rest of us? Many are simply content to travel the road that they are on, getting from point A to B to C, not really contemplating WHEN we are. They strive for material means, complain of the current state of the economy, but generally live their lives in a linear vein, never bothering to take account of who and WHEN we are.
Let me be frank…we are generally unaware of the time in which we live as we do not bother to contemplate our own personal history. Our daily lives are so busy with school or work that we forget to take an accounting of when we are. The time we have is so brief that our mortality is the furthest thing from our mind. This may very well be a defense mechanism built into our psyche to protect us from the coming end, but is it not that end that should compel us to examine the present of our lives? Savor it, ruminate on it, understand it, even for a brief few minutes to put us in a time and place that is unique among the annals of history. It is our history, your history, your time! We have been born, and will live our lives sharing events and time with those born around us. The time we have is finite but our history is forever. If, as it has been said, that we are the sum of our decisions, we should take heed and from time to time examine those decisions so that we may put ourselves and our history to the microscope of time if only to appreciate when we are.
The point of this short post is to urge you to take a bit of time and see where and when you are. Stop, listen, think, remember, and know that there is only one you, one life, one time. We may not have the gifts of literature that the above mentioned authors possess in order to span the mists of existance, but we can certainly know when we are and come to appreciate that. To all…be well.
Today, August 6th, is the anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Over the decades since this