Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Another local celebrity died today. It is no different than many unknowns in the world that die everyday. It is just part of the process: birth, aging, ill, death. No one can escape it, no exception.

It reminds me the passage of time. When we were younger, old folks would comment on things like, "it takes time", "wounds will heal with time", etc. I really think "TIME", the fourth dimension, is the most powerful and intriguing thing in the universe. Matter changes its state in time. Cells become organisms, from living, breathing beings, to become corpses, going through decay and become fossils, or fossil fuels!

During our lifetime, news become history. Organization structure may change or remain, but people definitely change. 'Test of Time' is the best test of value of things. Interests do compound day by day. It won't lie. Even for art, its value is best tested with time passes. For a hit song or movie, you can award it as the best or most popular song/movie of the year all you want. However, you can't nominate or consider it as 'goldie', 'legendary', 'historic monumental', or 'classic' until years later. I would say ten years as a minimum. That's why those ten, fiften, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, fifty year anniversary version of albums or movie editions are so valuable.
Some people say they can MANAGE time. I think we are managed BY time indeed. We can only choose what we do at each moment (if we are lucky), but we can't SAVE or BUY or LOSE time. We can WASTE time, but that's more an opportunity cost issue. What we can do is to capture visual/audio records of each passing moment for historical review, but time can't be captured. Time is neither merciful or merciless. It just passes. It won't go faster or slower at anyone's wish. Time is fair for that matter.

Certainly, for human beings, time and value are not necessary directly proportional to each other. Some folks have hanged around for years but they do very little. They perform limited function to the society and their values are just that. They are respected for their experience, but I would say it is more about their existence through time. On the contrary, some folks have not lived for long, but they left with a remarkable legacy to the society in the areas that they excel. Like what was used to describe some talents who died young, including my idol, Wong Kai Kui, the lead vocal of a local band Beyond, "it is not how long you live, but it is what you have done that count".

God Blesses those who left us, and those who are still alive and trying, including you and I!

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