When we are born, each of us is gifted with a traditional mantel clock. The clock is unique to each individual and we are to look after them during the course of our entire life. Throughout childhood it is barely noticed; kept on a shelf somewhere in the house. But as we get older it gets noticed more and more. We realise that our time slows down dramatically the more we watch the hands of the clock. The ticking and tocking that once counted out the seconds of our lives becomes slower, eventually counting out the decades, the more we watch.
We can slow down the passage of time – give ourselves longer lives, counteract the aging process, by simply watching the clock. Look away and time moves faster. A decade becomes a year, a year a month, a month a week. In a society that values youth and longevity, everyone, eventually, becomes a clock-watcher.
He was the first man in a very long time to do what he did. Future generations would call him a pioneer; a revolutionary. He reminded people what life could really be like; that it could be fun, no matter how short.
Whilst the world around him sat, hypnotised by their clocks, obsessed with the slowing down of time’s passage, he experienced everything else. He went travelling, read great books, learned new things – he did everything you could possibly think of; even just taking the time to sit and admire a view that was not of clocks.
Clock-watching was dull. It was mindless. And yet everybody did it.
He avoided clocks and timepieces as much as he could, leaving his own on a shelf somewhere to gather dust. He welcomed the shorter life and aging process as he went along on his adventures. All the while wondering what the point of having a long, slow existence was if you were not going to experience any of it? A lifetime of nothing was no life at all.
He eventually began to feel lonely though, and sensing his now short life coming to a close, he wanted to help others to live a life more fulfilled.
He cautiously approached the clock-watchers that he came across and tried to speak to them. most of them didn’t even break their gaze but there were a few willing to listen, who became willing to shed their predisposition for the slowing of time and anti-ageing, and just try something new.
It was after all not about the length of your life, but the quality of it.