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Perspective on Time

Posted on Wednesday, Jul 27th 2005

Last week, I was in Jerusalem for a day. My guide, Mishi, was a knowledgeable man with a Masters degree in comparative religion. As we walked through the streets of the old city, he walked me through 10,000 years of history – religious and political – and led me through the sites and monuments that stand as testimony to that colorful past.

Judaesm, Christianity, Islam – three monotheistic religions hold Jerusalem as their source, hence the place is full of pilgrims. A Christian mother holds her new born against the stone on which Jesus was laid after the crucification, and weeps. Facing the Western Wall, numerous solemn Jewish faces pray earnestly, waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. At the Mosque of Omar, Mishi points out the spot where Mohammed stopped and disembarked from his horse on the way to his conference with God.

I had to stop and think for a moment, and put in perspective our frustrations – we the children of the Internet generation – our search for The Next Big Thing! The Internet is really only a 10-year old phenomenon. It has touched lives in massive ways. And yet, it will take a long time yet, before the full impact of the Internet gets woven into the fabric of society and business. Remember, the Telephone was invented in 1875-1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, and yet, even today, remote villages in developing nations have only just started reaping its benefits.

Perhaps a sacrilegious analogy (not my intent), but the way we pray and search for the Next Big Thing, is a bit like waiting for the arrival of the Messiah! The Christian Messiah, Jesus, came 2005 years back. The Jews do not even accept Jesus as the Messiah. They have had a much longer wait.

Should our horizon be expanded somewhat, beyond the 10-15 years, that we have recently become accustomed to?

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