Friday, April 17, 2015

What Time Is It?



What Time Is It?

Once upon a time I heard this story:

In a small town at 12 noon the fire house always tested its emergency siren, you know blowing out the cobwebs and making sure everything worked—in case there was an emergency.

Also at 12 noon the bells in the carillon began to play.

At the diner the waitress dropped another pot of coffee for the lunch time crowd. And, at the local school the children were excited for lunch and recess, which happened at 12 noon.

In a way the whole town moved in a type of ballet, all doing their individual routines in synch with each other, according to the clock.

Then one day the announcer at the local radio station was set to retire. For thirty or so years she had sat at her desk reading the news, time, and temperature and playing records. At her retirement party the whole town came to wish her well. As they sat around chatting the fire chief and priest and the owner of the diner all lamented to her that they would miss her. How will be know when it’s 12 noon, they said and laughed?

She looked confused, then confessed. I always knew it was noon when I heard the bells ringing and the siren go off. For thirty years she had been going by their time while at the same time they had been going off of her at the radio.

I guess it’s all relative.

Like when we judge someone against what we think is the norm, only to find out there is no norm. How do we decide what is the marker in which to measure?

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