We get to where we were going and walk into the lobby and check our watch. It says we’re a few minutes early, so we reach into our pocket to grab our phones to kill a few minutes. Is this act not the expression of so much of what’s wrong with modern life? The entitlement. The resignation of it. The un-inspiredness of it.
What makes you think that you can afford to piddle away one second of your life, let alone several minutes of it? “It’s not that life is short,” Seneca wrote, “it’s that we waste a lot of it.” That’s why the expression killing time is so apt here. We are literally murdering the precious moments of our life.
How much better we would be and the world would be if we never did this again. If we chose alive time over dead time. There’s so much you could do in those few minutes. Face fears. Reach out and connect with someone. Expose ourselves to sunlight and nature. Be still and empty. Prepare for what lies ahead. Or just live because who knows how much time we have left.
“You could leave life right now,” Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself, “let that determine what do you and say and think.”
Remember that always.
P.S. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism.
Explore Our Daily Stoic Store