Book Reading: The Time Keeper


time keeper

Whenever I see a wrist watch on someone’s hand, it reminds me of a movie dialogue “Time does not exist”.

The conversation in the 1994 movie, I.Q. , goes as follows

“Time doesn’t exist? Since when?”

“I wouIdn’t know. If time doesn’t exist, then there is no ‘when’. ”

“You hear, Liebknecht? Another crazy theory.”

“Then tell me the correct time, now.
You see, you can’t. Because as you’re telling me, the future has become the past,
therefore there is no present, therefore time doesn’t exist! ”

“Perhaps.”

Ever since I have seen that movie (that must have been at least 10 years back), I never seem to forget that dialogue. It’s like it is engraved in my mind now.. “Time does not exist…”

I don’t even care if it is scientifically logical. It just means to me to not waste my moments looking at the time, but to instead live in them.

Mitch Albom, in his book “The Time Keeper”, tries to teach the same thing to a world obsessed with counting time.

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”
― Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

The story is about Father Time, inventor of world’s first clock, who was punished by God for trying to measure time. After centuries of punishment, he is granted a chance to redeem himself by going back to the present day earth, and teaching the true value of time to two people – one who wants more time, and one who wants less time.

I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It is a good read, and I think everyone should read it, especially as the world truly is obsessed with time, rather than thinking about quality of life.

“As mankind grew obsessed with its hours, the sorrow of lost time became a permanent hole in the human heart. People fretted over missed chances, over inefficient days; they worried constantly about how long they would live, because counting life’s moments had led, inevitably, to counting them down. Soon, in every nation and in every language, time became the most precious commodity.”
― Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

And it is true, I have sometimes fretted over inefficient days too – days when I did nothing but lay down and relaxed. I have worried that I might not have enough time in my life to do all that I want, to read all I want, to travel all I want, to love and live all I want. I have worried whether I have missed doing something I could have done in the 26 years I have already lived. But, where does this worry take me? Does it help? Wouldn’t it be better to follow your heart for the moment, and live in the moment without worrying. Yes, you might die the next moment. Counting time isn’t going to help you go past that. So, instead of wasting our moments counting time passed, or time left, it would make more sense in living in those moments. Living each moment like the last. It’s so hard to do, but if we learn to do that, our quality of life would improve so much.

“Everything man does today to be efficient, to fill the hour? It does not satisfy. It only makes him hungry to do more. Man wants to own his existence. But no one owns time. When you are measuring life, you are not living it.”
― Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

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