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We are overwhelmed by the amount of information, promotion, news, fake news, social media contact and process we are subjected to. Once we used to go to the bank, speak to a cheery teller, cash a check and go on our way. The internet is useful – until it goes wrong. Then a five minute transaction becomes five hours, possibly longer. An Asian online newspaper has sent me twenty-seven promotional offers in the last month. Originally I was tempted to try it because it looked good. The temptations I have about it now are not for printing.

As for resetting passwords and double verification – don’t even go there.

What is our responsibility for keeping up? I ask this because some of my giftees have abandoned email. So when I want to give them a present I have to do so via at least two internet media. What is their responsibility for keeping up? As one told me the other day, not critically but slightly wearily, ‘You can always get me on PatchIt’. Apparently I had been trying PitchIt which is almost a month old now and therefore very passé.

Tempting to use hard copy mail but it is too anti-sustainability and expensive.

Then there is the question – quite beyond coping with an unavoidable inflow – of what world and local news we should keep up with. This ranges from President Xi’s pronouncements on the South China Sea to President Biden’s public grappling with America’s changing gun law. It includes the war, the climate, the AI, the EV, the potential pandemic, moon shots, sun shots and FFE. If you don’t know what FFE is you may be missing the greatest step humankind has ever contemplated. Forever Free Energy, of course.

The other day I lightly chided someone, who gives me excellent semi-medical service, because he didn’t know who Tharman was. I regretted that I had done so afterwards. He is bringing up two small children and building a business all on his own. He cannot vote in Singapore because he is not a citizen. Why should he worry about who Tharman is? But then again, how sad that he doesn’t, and so cannot have a view about the things going on around him. We can only appreciate the bits of the world we have time to keep up with.

The pink newspaper I read (that’s its paper colour, not its political one) has a handy system by which you can prioritise what you want to know about the world. These subjects then appear first, as a priority. A good system. Of course, there is the odd bit of tittle-tattle you’d like to read about, the sort of icing on the cake, as it were. That’s still available, but not pressed on you as being as important as the future of humanity.

Keeping up is a matter of priority. Each of us has our own matters of importance – partner, family, business, environment, world, survival. Maybe even in a different order. We should know what that priority list is and we should review it from time to time, especially when something big happens in our lives. Change of partner, job, home, pace, style, health, all these should precipitate a thought about what matters to you. Perhaps more than any, a change of heart should trigger a review of what matters, including who we are.

Someone I met the other day has been through a bout of problems that would daunt the most Intrepid St Christopher, the most Rapacious Rasputin and the most Saintly Pope Francis. Her stamina has been exceptional but is now tipping too far. There isn’t a quick fix to her problems. At least, only one. Prioritise. Forget, for the moment, the myriad issues that haunt the dark hours of the night. Stick to what you know is critical. The rest can come later.

But when time permits don’t let it slip by again to the point where you approach the cliff. ‘Plenty of time’ doesn’t exist; ‘enough time’ is always present. It is your gold standard, your measure of success, your guardian angel. Love your time as much as you love anything.

When you do, time will love you back.

All the way, until it becomes forever.

Good morning

John Bittleston

Want a free chat about time? Why not  if you have the time?

Drop a line to [email protected] and we’ll fix it up.

Just to placate the stormy waters.

6 September 2023