The irony in calculation

Isn't it paradoxical that in order to get time, we've spent so much of it?

I stumbled upon a web page recently with facts about leap years while doing my homework for school and on reading it, I was stunned.

It had always been to my knowledge that the extra day constituting a leap year was the total of the extra quarter of a day from each of the past four years. We’d all been taught that a year is in fact 365.25 days and not simply 365 days. But how many of us know that a year is actually 365.242375 days? Did you know that once every 100 years, a leap year goes unconsidered to try and make the value of a year 365.24 days instead of 365.25?

As if this is not enough, once every 400 years, the leap year is considered to add 0.0025 days to each year in the past four centuries. So technically, once in every 400 years, time is set straight. But am I the only person who wonders what the point of all this is? Does it really matter? Nobody lives to be 400 years old anyway.

In my personal opinion, I think precision must indeed be appreciated where it is required. But this is neither a requirement nor appreciable. Time and tide wait for none and a fraction of a day is peripheral in the course of nearly half a millennium. So I can safely voice that life would’ve been just the same for generations past, present and future without this inference.

It’s not as though I have a personal abomination towards the discovery of something that isn’t particularly useful. I understand that people sometimes delve into little known details of our universe, for curiosity is but a common characteristic of human nature. However, it’s the amount of time and research and perhaps even money, that would’ve gone into something so intangible that leaves me baffled. The last thing humans need to be is more calculative. Instead, it would be more worthwhile to be a different 11-letter word starting with ‘C’: Considerate.

Some may counter my argument by expressing the importance of every second of every minute of every day. They may also emphasise on the fact that punctuality is a universal moral that each one of us must imbibe. I am not one to disagree with this, because it is indeed a fact. I too believe that time is the most precious commodity we can ever have the privilege of getting, but isn’t it paradoxical that in order to get time, we’ve spent so much of it?

We while away way too much time on setting the clock, waste way too many days planning the ones ahead of us, lose way too many friends in an attempt to make new ones and spend way too much money trying to make more. So the fact remains, that life, unfortunately, always has been the best example of irony. But it’s time to think differently now. It’s time we stopped counting the days and instead made the days count.

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