In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. — Genesis 1:1
What a profound statement the Holy Bible makes in the authorized version of the Holy Bible (King James Version of 1611) in its very first verse! The Creator not only made matter (atoms and molecules), He not only made space between them (heaven) but He also created TIME! — (in the beginning). I consider it a universal concept.. Even with my finite mind, I must grasp that there had to be a beginning of time. Some call it the “Big Bang.” I prefer to call this historical event,”Genesis Chapter 1.”
This post is not a theological disputation of what “time” is, but rather, (I hope) an amusing account of cultural differences of two different peoples of the meaning of the word of “time.”
Today a Japanese friend (who is conversant in English) asked me to do a favor and move out some rather large and heavy furniture (desks) from her attic. She did not intend for the furniture to be preserved, but to be destroyed.
“I’ll make time for it.” I replied. The entrance to the attic of her house was small. I knew the easiest way to move the large desks from her attic storage space (cheap furniture) was to break them apart with sledge hammer– a tool on hand — and to carry the lighter pieces of the broken furniture down through the attic entrance one by one. Japanese made furniture is not like that made in the West. It’s inexpensive fiberboard, not solid wood that lasts for generations as in American or European furniture. It is easily damaged and usually discarded after only few years (even one!) after its creation.
From what she said to me, I felt her saying, (as common for the Japanese people because they do not want you to go out of the way for them) “Don’t go out of your way for me!”
I replied again, “I’ll make the time!” But her reaction again seemed to me to be negative. Why on earth would a person who is asking a favor interpret what to me was a positive response to that favor such as “I’ll make the time” be as a negative? My conclusion: Cultural difference only. Me “making” time meant to her that I would be bothered to oblige her request. This is not true.
Another point: The Japanese often use the word “if” when asking a favor. “If you have time.” My response: “If you want me to do something for you, please don’t say, ‘if’, say ‘when.’ I can always find the time.”
I like to think of time as something you or “take,” or “grab,” or seize” such as the expression “Seize the Day”. I like that expression. Time is not something that “comes” to you. We all do what we consider to be our own particular priority.
When somebody says to me, “I’m busy. I don’t have the time to do what you are asking.” I understand that to mean, “What I am doing now is more important than your request.”
As for me personally, my goal in life is of servitude to others. I like to “make the time” to help others.
When I say to somebody, “I’ll make time to fulfill your request” I hope they consider that I am doing a service for the motivation of love for them, not for any personal gain on my own. This is what my blog is all about. 🙂