Lost for Words in a Timeless Age

July 20, 2017

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Writing provides the freedom that life so often denies. In both, every word has meaning, but only in writing is one in full control. While staring at a screen and commanding the power of every word, a writer masters his ideas because time does not rule his world. He has the time to process past experiences and time do express them in words. He has time to reconsider past decisions and time to revise current words. The freedom of a writer is to master the timing of his words. Only then can he define the precise meaning of his ideas while expressing all his concerns.

 

Life rarely affords this mastery over time. Information is sometimes insufficient and life-changing decisions made without the requisite time for reflection. Past choices once made can rarely be taken back. Current words once spoken may never be forgotten. Time holds the reigns of our days. The martial urgency of the clock constrains our ability to express our thoughts and feelings. Silence then becomes a refuge for the weary. Expressing one´s thoughts and feelings in a timeless age is a burden that most prefer not to bear, unless absolutely required to do so.

 

This is why I feel like a time traveler from a distant age. A time when people would write letters that were considerate, heartfelt and sincere. A time when two friends would meet for long talks where only patience and understanding would set the pace. A time where personal human contact challenged great distances because sensitive people poured their minds and hearts into words written. A time where meaningful debate of ideas was civilized and the words left behind were footprints of our quest for the truth. A distant age where love set the pace of our lives, the clock only the time of day.

 

Some may claim this to be a dream world that never existed. But when restless days become restless nights, one hardly has the time to dream. Today, words are spoken and written at the speed of light.They cross national boundaries and connect people separated by enormous distances. But the golden rule of silence, stating that it should not be broken unless improved upon, has been shattered. Laconic messages devoid of any true intellectual or emotional depth replaced the meaningful exchange of feelings, ideas and experiences. Video conferencing provides the illusion of physical proximity by eliminating the warmth of human contact, as the vivid colors of one´s eyes become dead pixels on a screen. Letter writing has become a lost art, long conversations with friends a rare occurrence. In a timeless age, we have lost control over our words.

 

The race against time now wants to dictate the pace of our writing and the meaning of our words. The price to pay is not to be underestimated. Being considerate towards other human beings requires sincere, heartfelt words. Solving the world´s problems requires thoughtful consideration. None of which can be had at the speed of light, without the requisite time investment. To lose control over our words is to lose control over our humanity. To embrace a world of silent strangers where social and political interaction relies on the superficial exchange of words that little explain, never bringing about personal growth or positive social change.

 

To regain control over our words is to create a world more humane. One where the bond of friendship is considerably stronger, for others will know for what you stand. One where the problems of the day are addressed by political discourse that is open and frank. One where the race against the clock is not the only lifestyle deemed sane. Rushed words only lead to rushed actions that can wreak enormous havoc. When we lose the freedom to master the timing of our own words, we can no longer define the precise meaning of our ideas. If time is money, time is also pain. In a timeless age, being lost for words is simply to toil in vain.

 

 

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©2017 by Andre Lamartin