The Paradox of Time and Experience

Does anyone else find our conception of time fundamentally odd?

We are said to be constantly inventing ourselves. We go through periods of change and growth. When we emerge from these, we are said to be new.

Yet inevitably time causes us to grow older. That’s just the way it works.

We associate growth with youth. Youth is seldom associated with wisdom however.

Our tradeoff for wisdom is our youth.

When we celebrate new years and birthdays we say, “Look at me, the new and improved. This is my fresh start.”

But the paradox is that in order to be new, you have to grow old. Our so-called old selves are younger, oddly.

Have you ever thought about that? Time doesn’t seem to make sense. It’s almost saying that those in the past – the old – don’t know any better. The present moment is the oldest we will have ever been before we have gained even more time under our belts. The human who has had the most opportunity for growth and change has been cheated by time.

Here’s the mystery: We shed our old selves to become older.

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