Take Your Time

Time is gold. This value has always been of importance to me. Coming from a typical Chinese household, it is natural for my life to revolve around the tick of the clock. This could explain why my schedule would be so jam packed to the littlest detail. The reason for this would be because of the typical college life where one has to mix both academics and organizational work. I have to balance both weights on my shoulder such as studying for a test during breaks then staying till late evening to have meetings for upcoming projects.

With the busyness of my daily life, it lead to numerous misunderstandings with my family. They would get mad at me for not making it in time for dinner and for not joining them to go out on Sundays. It was hard to let them understand that I am just maximizing my stay in the Ateneo by trying to become a great student leader. I believed that by being the best that I can be in the Ateneo, I can make them proud of me. What made me think twice about what I was doing would be the first few classes of philosophy with Dr. Leo as he tackled the difference between a pettifogger and a philosopher based on Plato.

According to Plato, a pettifogger is a man of affairs whom is swallowed up by the matters of daily life. He is being chased by a clepsydra or water clock that steals time. This constantly threatens to drown him thus not allowing him to expatiate at will. These pettifoggers also view time as money as they are always in the constant press of business. One could say that on the outside, these pettifoggers are undoubtedly rich and successful but on the inside, they are small in their soul.

After talking about the pettifogger, Dr. Leo then moved on to the definition of a philosopher. According to Plato, he is a man of thought. He dwells apart from others in a world of his own imagination. This could infer that he is not afraid to take his time to go to various topics out of perplexity, fascination, and curiosity. Thus making him have the chance to search for the meaning of life by discerning the essential from the inessential. With the philosopher’s freedom from virtue and otherworldliness, he has genuinely full and happy souls within them that radiate outwards as well.

There is a striking contrast between the pettifogger and the philosopher. One seems to live behind a mask just to achieve success whilst the other seems to live a genuinely happy life. After the session, I quickly identified myself with a pettifogger. I see myself always catching up with time to no avail just to follow my schedule. It shows how I always focus on the things that I need to do in order to achieve success but there is a consequence behind it. This consequence involves losing time with my family and friends.

I might have achieved my success to become a student leader on the outside but what matters more is what I am feeling on the inside. Am I really happy with the path that I have chosen? This led me to reflect on my choices and actions in life. At the end, I chose to lessen the load of my schedule. I used proper time management in order to do my academics and cut down my organizational work. Furthermore, I also began to fix my relationship with my family. By that time, it felt like I was truly, genuinely happy.

All of this made me realize that we should not catch up with time. We should take our time to enjoy life. This makes us become a participant in life and not just a spectator. Thus by doing this, we will be able to find our true passions in order to make it into our goals and professions in life. This then will bring lifelong happiness to us which will eventually translate into beatitude.

Sean Ng

153020

PH 101 JTA-A

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