Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time, the Enemy

A conference call for papers attracted my attention. The conference is the 33rd of the “International Association for Time Use Research” to be held in the University of Oxford (England) on 1-3 August 2011. The subject is time use. I entered “time use” in the search engine of Google which responded by showing 1,790,000 results including innumerable articles on time use research in different countries, sites of institutes of time use research and articles about how to manage your time properly because there is not enough time in the day for all you want to do. That brought to my mind the familiar sight in many cities of people reading in their pocket book while sitting in the train or the bus or waiting in a doctor’s room or even standing in a queue.
It also reminded me of the familiar sight in our country (and in others) of people spending most or all of their time sitting on street curbs or in street cafes doing nothing or indulging in some useless games. I remember once I was driving with a visiting professor in my car when we passed by a number of these cafes. Many of those sitting in the café were just rolling the beads of their rosaries (misbaha) and staring at the unknown. I said: it is a pity they are spending their time without a useful activity. The professor corrected: They are breathing! If you ask these people and many others doing all sorts of useless things about what they are doing many will give the familiar answer: we want to kill time. I do not know what made ‘time’ that hated enemy that deserves to be killed!


  1. Actually I wish if one can buy or sell time so both who has time and who hasn't can get use of time in better way, for me I always need time and I wish if I can buy some.

  2. A very good idea Alyaa! Never occurred to me.