Thought For The Day #4119 February 2015
Broadcast 19th of February 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol
Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. It doesn’t always fall on this day because the Chinese calendar uses the moon to calculate its months. Which means that a new month, and therefore a new year, has to start on the same day as a new moon. This may seem like an alien system, but it’s pretty much what most people used to use in ancient times. Because if you don’t have a clock then you have to use the natural cycles of the sun and moon.
Nowadays it’s rare to find yourself in a situation that isn’t measured by clock time. Like right now, I bet you know roughly what time it is, even without looking at a clock. But what would it be like to spend a day or even a few days without ever knowing the exact time or date? Of course if you actually did this, you’d very quickly get told off by your friends and boss for being inappropriately early or inconveniently late. But imagine if it was on holiday where you had no strict timings to follow.
In the same way that it’s good for us to get out into the countryside and get some fresh air, I think it’s equally good for us to get out of clock time once in a while. On the evolutionary scale, humans still haven’t got used to houses, cities and clocks. Getting out into nature, or forgetting about time, can be good ways of recharging.
So Happy New Year from me. I have to go now, or I’ll be late for work.