Five Mississippi

On September 11, 2001, America united as a single population.  We put aside our differences, and patriotically held hands. The color of our skin and our political views mattered none. When was the last time you saw that many flags proudly waving in this country?  There were no reports of Hollywood celebrity marital dramas. No one gave a damn about them.

That was until time passed.

We certainly don’t need another catastrophic terrorist attack to realign ourselves. But seems to me that we do need something. Let’s face it—we’re bickering, screaming, tweeting, snapping, posting, and walking against anything and everything.  And the enemy? Ourselves.

We are entertaining the world with our discontent.   It’s about time that we sought a little reprieve.

*          *          *

It’s funny how time—the most available commodity of all—is, quite often, hard to come by. We all wish we had more time all the time, but apparently time, which never ends, is in short supply…at times.

The other day, as I was at the gym, I watched a repair man standing on top of a ladder, replacing the batteries in a wall clock. The clock had been slowing down, its hands lagging to keep up with regular time. Almost as if it had been conserving energy in an effort to stay alive, as if it knew its time was almost up. But it was soon to be powerless as he unscrewed the cover of the battery compartment.  I found it ironic how he had to stop time in order to keep time going.

In an attempt to open a new package of four batteries with a screwdriver, the package shifted in his hands, and the batteries toppled and clanged down the ladder’s aluminum rungs before hitting the floor and scattering in different directions, like mice evading a cat.

“I do not have time for this!” he vented in frustration. “My time is too valuable!”

His time? I thought. What makes his time different from my time? I mean, don’t we all share the same time together?  At any given moment we all share the same duration of time.  And if you look at shared time as shared moments, the perspective shifts from objective and scientific to connective and personable.

Regardless of our differences and disagreements, we share the same moments at any given time.  Imagine if the entire U.S. population decided to acknowledge five seconds together.  Five seconds of time. Or better put, one moment of shared experience.  There are over 31 million seconds in a year. Am I to believe that it would be nearly impossible to get everyone to set aside their troubles for five seconds? Certainly it’s possible.  We’d call the event “Five Mississippi.”  It could be a sort of truce to show that we can, in fact, collectively share a moment.  And if, by some miracle, we should pull it off, then who’s to say the following year we can’t shoot for…hold on to your seat!…ten seconds?

It shouldn’t take a couple of skyscrapers collapsing to the earth or a careless and unforgiving hurricane named Katrina to wake us up and unite.  It’d be nice if we took it upon ourselves and made a conscious effort to find some middle ground where all of our angst and criticisms could be set aside.  Acknowledging five seconds together as a nation could be a start.

And just what would we do for five seconds? That’s easy…we’d go silent and recognize that for the first time in history (without the nudge from a crisis), Americans agreed to make time for one another. Now that’s something to entertain the world with.  Lord knows we have the technology and resources to make it happen.

Seems to me it’s just a matter of time.


Copyright Ros Hill 2017


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