By Jorge Manuel Zelaya Fajardo
July 2nd, 2021
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute."
-- Albert Einstein
Today is Friday, July 2nd, 2021. Mathematically today ,at 12 noon, is the middle of the year 2021. The numbers don't lie: the Gregorian calendar we use today consists of 365 days for the year 2021. Half of 365 is 182.5 so since yesterday was the 182nd day, we easily see that at noon today, we reached the middle of the year.
If we go a little deeper into this topic, we will discover that there are still 4,380 hours, that is, 262,800 minutes or rather 15,768,000 seconds to reach the last day of the current year. However, these numerical estimates are extremely marginal compared to time values such as the birth of our planet earth (approximately 4.5 billion years ago) and the probable extinction of the sun in our solar system (projected by scientists within 5 billion years). However, although it may seem otherwise, these brief lines were not written to exercise our arithmetic accuracy. They have been written to stop the journey and reflect a bit.
Since the Sars CoV-2 virus pandemic (which causes the Covid19 disease) covered our planet in 2020, the
normal development of our lives has been altered in some way or form. From suffering the disease firsthand
to the death of a loved one, friend or acquaintance. From the loss of a job to the reduction of the income
of a business. From the interruption of the way we usually work to the ways of having fun. From the contraction
of the economy to the alteration of the supply chain. We have all been affected in a greater or lesser way,
directly or indirectly. The above is precisely the reason for these lines. The (exact) half of the year is a good
time to pause and reflect. It is not our intention to make a deep philosophical-existential reflection. I dare to
propose a rather brief, real reflection and with practical application. Three aspects cross my mind.
The first aspect could be to value the life we have by marrying the present moment with the firm intention
of not being unfaithful. The past and present can lead us to states of anguish and anxiety
(which by psychological-affective definition are not the same) that can impair our judgment and reduce our
The second aspect could be to objectively evaluate how we are progressing compared to the goals that we set at the beginning of the year. If you did not set goals for the beginning of 2021, today is an extraordinarily good time to do so. Today, not tomorrow. These types of evaluations tend to be difficult because of the high emotional cost of feeling frustrated by what is not achieved. However, a fresh vision of the subject is to see it as an engineering process that has sequences of activities that can always be improved without self-flagellating for the mistakes made.
We all have an expiration date. It is inevitable and undeniable. However, having a life purpose (Dharma in Sanskrit language) focused on putting our talents and skills at the service of others in whatever activity we do, helps making the trip more pleasant and useful.
Whether time passes fast or slow has historically been a debate in physics and biology, from Albert Einstein to Adrián Bejan. It has also been a matter of perspective, attention and interest. What is clear is that for all of us time has an element of individual perception of reality. The ball is in our court.
I would like to end with one of the most important and edifying anecdotes that have happened to me in my life regarding the use of time. When I was 40 years old, I was greatly disturbed that I had reached that age in which I felt that many goals had not yet been achieved and that time passed with relentless speed. Somewhat worried, I asked my uncle Raúl (at 90 years of age he was as always: a nice, unhurried and thoughtful man) to give me magical, extraordinary and immediate action advice for my problem. My uncle approached me, looked me straight in the eye and said: -How many years are you celebrating in this birthday? - To which I replied with sorrow: 40 years old ... and I feel that I have not achieved many things in my life! lifetime …. Since I turned 30 until today I feel that time is flying without stopping!! My uncle paused. He looked at me with his usual calm and assured me wisely: -“If you are turning forty years old and you think it has gone fast… ..don't worry… from now on the years will go by, MUCH FASTER!! Please focus on doing things right in the present.-
Today is the exact half of the year. Let's make the second half something special. What do you say?