I believe it is impossible to give an exact definition of this entity that we call time. Since ancient times, man has questioned himself about it. Etymologically, “time” is a word that derives from the Greek verb (“temno” = to cut): according to St. Augustine, time is nothing more than a clipping of eternity.
Everything depends on time: we are born and die based on time.
Time can be what we are and what we do, what we have been and what we have done, what we will be and what we will do.
Past and future are two perceptions that in my opinion produce more sensations in us than the present, which is generally rather indifferent to us: the past can evoke, through memory, satisfaction, happiness, or sadness, regret, remorse; the future instead, as far as I’m concerned, arouses fascination, or fear, anguish. I would like to clarify that these last two sensations cannot be traced back to the fear of death, of ceasing to exist, but to the awareness of not being able to see beyond a certain limit, which is the present, the awareness of an uncertain and inscrutable future. .
This aspect is also pointed out to us by Alfonso Traina, who affirms: “The events which, precisely because they are not yet, do not depend on us with the negative effects of fear”.
In any case we are, indeed we must also be aware that our stay in this life is limited: we are granted time, whether determined by fate, by chance, or by a divine entity and it is up to us to manage it as we see fit. .
But what is our relationship with it?
I agree with Seneca when he says that it is not so much the duration of life as what we do during it that qualifies us. According to him, we should be interested in the immediate, while defeating our fear for the future: “Do not allow life to reach out to the future, but bring it back to the present”.
Someone who is wise becomes somehow master of time: he uses it to his advantage and does not care about the future, but uses time in the present to improve his life.
So it is we who in reality do not exploit time in the best way: time is not our enemy, whether little or a lot we can live it well.
In this regard, I conclude with another Senechian quote: “The steadfast mind knows that there is no difference between a day and a century”: it agrees that time is a mere convention.