The importance of Time
“It is never too late or too soon. It is when it is supposed to be.”
I read Mitch Albom’s ‘The Time Keeper’ in one sitting over the weekend. The book made me think and then it made me cry before leaving me feeling grateful for second chances. The book tells the story of a man called Dor who, consumed by grief when losing his wife, wants to run away from his life (I am sure we have all been there). To punish him for running away he is put in a cave for 6,000 years where he does not age and has to listen to people’s requests relating to time- generally people begging for more. He then is put back on earth with the task of showing two unrelated people the importance and value of time. One of those people is Victor, a businessman who is dying of cancer but wants to cheat time by preserving his body cryogenically so he can come back from the dead at some point in the future. The other, is a young teenager Sarah, who takes steps to die after being rejected by someone she loves and admires. So, two very common, true to life stories. Dor shows these two people what they are missing out on if they die by showing them what would happen to their loved ones and what they have to live for (this part made me cry).
The message of the book centred heavily on the importance of presence, of being genuinely IN whatever moment and whatever situation you are in at that moment in time, and giving you entire being over to it and not wishing for the past or for the future as both of those moments are not the current moment and therefore don’t exist. Being present as a key to life is also the feature of many spiritual works such as Eckhart Tolle’s ‘The Power of Now’, so I feel like this book came at the right time to remind me of that.
My only criticism was that the characters of Victor and Ethan, the boy that rejects Sarah, were very black and white people and had limited depth. This I did not like, as I feel in life, you can be rejected by a perfectly nice person and it still hurt in the way that Sarah was hurting, or you may have a successful businessman like Victor that appreciates and loves his wife AND still wants more time. I think more could have been done with the characters to ad an extra (and more realistic) dimension to the book.
Overall, I would definitely recommend to a friend. It is painful to read the parts where you can recognise yourself in the story, but ultimately the message is uplifting and crucial to enjoying life.