Our love for arbitrary givens

This planet takes approximately 365 days to complete one circuit around the sun. Where we start counting these days is totally arbitrary. If you start at Midsummer’s Eve or August 15th or February 2nd you’ll get the same amount of days. There’s nothing intrinsically different, except where in the continuous circuit across the universe the planet is, happening on January 2nd if compared with December 29th. Indeed some cultures starts their counts according to other calendars, not coinciding with the western/xtian one.

Despite this most people uses this arbitrary date, the break between December 31st and January 1st, to signify the beginning of something new, something Other. If it, like now, marks the end of an equally arbitrary thing like a decade, then it also is a signal to start a summary of the past 10 years, trying to figure out what’s so special about that particular time. It’s often funny, because as we all know these transitions are not clear breaks just because we want them to be so, and some of the things marked down as ‘typical’ are forgotten the the next day.

I think maybe we humans needs these anchor points in the time-space continuum, to make us feel more real, as a way to validate our being here. We are so afraid to face the reality, of there being no higher reason for us being here, nothing else beyond the biochemical reactions making us function. It makes us construct a reality that essentially aren’t there but without which we wouldn’t survive as a species.

Or – would we? Dare we try?

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