One of the effects of today’s hurried pace of life is that time itself loses meaning. Inside our rushed schedules, we experience the double sensation of having no time to do anything and doing nothing with our time.
Without using time to reflect upon and interpret experiences, even the most organized life can become a jumble of insignificant events, passive entertainment, and mechanical routines. It is something Richard Stivers calls the “sterilization of time”: “When time loses its meaning—the memory of significant events and transformations within a narrative framework—it becomes the space within which we produce and consume as much as possible.”1
Within this paradox where we have no time yet waste so much time, we experience the boredom, exhaustion, and psychological stress that leads so many to conclude that there is nothing beyond the aimless flux of immediate experience.
(The above selection is an adaptation of a passage from Return to Order)
1. Stivers, Culture of Cynicism, 172.