Milestones

The arbitrary ways we segment our lives is strange.

What makes someone 18 years old responsible enough to handle alcohol, but someone 17 years and 364 days old not responsible enough?

What’s so special about intervals of ten years outside of the fact that we’ve grown comfortable counting in tens? What is so special about the actual ten year span of time itself? If we celebrated every eight years instead, what would be different?

How did anniversaries become so engrained in our psyche?

Surely it has to do with reflection; the measurement of time is how we define and relate with the past.

But we dont celebrate any other forms of measurements so dramatically.

When did we collectively decide that every time we survived a rotation around the sun it means something?

Birthdays were considered evil pagan rituals until Christians decided to give Jesus one on the 25th of December (a date which rather conveniently overlaps with the pagan winter solstice).

Now we use these milestones to organise our lives.

My point is not that there’s anything wrong with the system, it’s that we rarely consider the fact that there is a system.

Time, like law, is a social construct; tool we use for our mutual convenience.

Thinking too much about this is pointless, but thinking just enough about it helps to critically analysing the other things we take for granted.

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