Are you keen and willing to explore an unappreciated truth surrounding the calendar that helps us run our lives? If yes, let us unravel the power of the all-too-common calendar that finds its place in almost every corner of our lives, bar none. Of course, the years change like clockwork. We celebrate events, anniversaries, festivals, momentous occasions, and memories from the past with the help and the unappreciated guidance of this little, yet all too important medium. We need the calendar to make and keep all the appointments that help us stay on track.
Businesses, both big and small, need to plan their activities, needs, projections-and-forecasts, payroll, and tax-related obligations. In short, almost every activity is dependent upon the calendar in one way or the other.
Even those retired from active work-life also find it hard to manage without the all too important calendar. They might miss their doctor’s visits, medicine refills, caregiver appointments, and pension checks, leading to chaos. All levels of governments, all over the world, need the calendar to manage their day-to-day business and to forge plans that keep the economy in shape. An entire thesis is possible on the vast applications this simple-looking invention holds in its bosom. Without the calendar, we may not have the four seasons in order, no more days, weeks, months, and years, definitely no work regimen and hence no consistent income to feed ourselves and our loved ones. Running the imagination wild in a solemn quest for viable alternatives may lead us to a hypothetical catastrophe if anything. However, I find a lot of wisdom in the words of Charles Richards, “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.”
For obvious reasons, humanity continues to dwell in an imaginary comfort zone where readily available conveniences take a back seat in our daily lives.
A real-life example lies in utilities like hydro for electricity, natural gas for heating and cooking, gas for transportation, road network and public transport for a more comfortable commute, and a host of services provided by various levels of governments. We do not pay much heed to the efforts of an extensive network of behind-the-scene work-force that keeps the systems running. When given due consideration, even the calendar, whether Gregorian, Julian, or any other, helps us manage life in an orderly fashion. Believe it or not, Google Search for types of calendars reveals over one hundred of them. Surprisingly enough, there exist so many different cultures on different continents that find comfort in their calculations of days, months, years, even generations. The Gregorian Calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in October 1582, binds us all in a common framework across geographic boundaries.
Let us pay heed to the following exclamation from Robert Brault. “I value the friend who, for me, finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who does not consult his calendar for me.” This simplistic statement may not carry much weight for the ordinary. Still, those caring enough to appreciate continued interaction with others will approve it in perpetuity. In the fast-paced world that we have come to build through the ages, there remains a vast gap where social values used to matter way more than what we may accept and even expect. Gone are the joint families, the caring-and-sharing communities where every household personally related to practically every resident within viewable distance. In today’s stressful work-culture, we don’t even know our immediate neighbors. There could be a wedding, even a death next door, and we’ll have no inkling. Given such a dreadful scenario, finding friends that give priority to their relationships over everything else is a definite blessing worthy of appreciation.
“No date on the calendar is as important as tomorrow.” -Roy W. Howard. Sure, this 20th-Century American newspaperman knew something about the significance of “tomorrow” on the calendar. Let’s see how we can explore it a bit in our own lives. I like to relate to the pervasive sense of hope that tomorrow brings to those looking for a respite from life’s challenges. While we continue to live in the present, the past may help us decipher the future to a certain extent, but not in a definitive fashion. The best reward comes to us in the unpredictable turn of events that ‘tomorrow’ hides in its bosom. When the outcome belies all our rational expectations, we either call it a miracle, or a disaster, depending upon how good or the bad it happens to be.
Having come this far, it will only make sense for us to remember the final culmination of a life that revolves around the calendar in every conceivable fashion. And, what is that culmination, if not death? Remember the crucial component of marriage vows, “till death us do part,” from the Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury? Like it or not, death is the final goal of every living organism, not just humans. No matter how precise your calculations, or well-advanced your psychic, even astrological powers, it is virtually impossible to predict the exact date and time of death for anybody in particular. Accordingly, it may also be safe to accept the ancient words of wisdom from an unknown source: “Death keeps no calendar.”