A Traveler's Clock
Vancouver, United States
I was mindlessly flipping through the SkyMall in-flight impulse-purchase magazine on my flight from Miami to Phoenix a few weeks ago, when an advertisement caught my attention. It made me smile, and a little sad at the same time—enough so that I ripped it out so that I could write about it later.
The photo depicted an analog-style clock with just a single hand. The days of the week were printed on the face instead of numbers. It sort of looked like an unattractive, color-less pie-chart. As each day progresses, so does the hand around the face of the clock.
The advertisement copy read: "If you're lucky enough to measure life by the day, this is the clock for you. It's a perfect novelty gift for recent retirees to let them know their ties to the clock are easing, and it's great for vacation homes and RVs. We should all aspire to needing a clock like this."
I chuckled a bit, because this is exactly the type of clock I really needed, but then started thinking about how it was a perfect example of how the culture of this country feels about their time. The United States, and so much of the populous within it, is driven by a ticking clock. So much so, that the people selling this item would only think to put it in a vacation home or as a gift to a retiree. …We should all aspire to needing a clock like this.
I see this attitude in the U.S. where people feel like they have to earn their freedom—working their entire lives like an indentured servant to earn what they were born with.
You are free.
The shackles that bind you may have been forged by habit and culture, but they were bound by you, and only you can unlock them.
I understand that Americans work hard to give themselves and their offspring a better life, but at some point folks need to take a step back and look at what they're sacrificing for that betterment.
The rationalizations come in many forms, but they are yours, and yours alone to do with as you will.