Saturday, August 6, 2011

#218 / Time Management

I have done my share of reading on time management. As I have reviewed the literature, the effort of the time management gurus is mainly geared towards helping us prioritize and fit in to a limited amount of time the many individual "tasks" that we all have to accomplish (or that we think we have to accomplish).

Few seem to have focused on the more fundamental observation of George Fox:
You have no time but this present time; therefore prize your time for your soul's sake.
Fox, I believe, is trying to direct our attention to what I think of as the "Stockdale" Question: Who am I and what am I doing here? Among other things, that question requires us to confront the me/we reality of our human existence. One of the most important time management questions we face is how to allocate our time as between our "individual" projects and plans, and those activities that are related to our collective life together.

Since I have spent a good part of my life trying to make a community-based and participatory politics produce something worthwhile, I find it hard to forget the "we" part of my life. Realizing the dream of American democracy is something I think ought to be a priority, and I continue to believe that we "can't have self government unless we get involved ourselves."

It's just that simple. As we bitch and moan about how our President isn't really doing what we want him to do (or what we think he promised to do), and while we justifiably complain about how Congress is unresponsive to the concerns of ordinary people, we are failing to confront what self-government requires, in terms of time management.

At least, that's true for many of us!

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