Two Kinds of Time

There are two kinds of time. Abstract time (kronos in Greek) is a scientific concept, a way of measuring matter moving through space. Concrete time (kairos in Greek) is lived time. We call it our “lifetime.” Time is life.

So to give someone your time is to give him your life.

Our families are the ones we give our lives to and the ones who give their lives to us. The family is the “pay-it-forward” institution.

No one was ever heard to say this as he was dying: “I spent too much time with my family and too little time at my work.”

Our families always give us more heartbreak than our work because our work isn’t big enough to contain our whole heart, as our family is.

What do you do when your family breaks your heart? First, realise this is the way of things, this always happens. Second, mend it. Mend your heart. When you get a broken leg you don’t turn away, you mend it. Why? Because you love your leg, because you are your leg. Well, your family is your legs.

Peter Kreeft, Before I Go: Letters to our children about what really matters, n.14, p.25 (United Kingdom: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007)