As we were about to celebrate the new year, there was news reports of an extra second being added to the year, before it was over. One newspaper reported and explained the need for this extra second as follows:
“Today, time keepers at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, will add a “leap second” to 2008 because the Earth is rotating a tiny bit slow and is now out of sync with the clock. The Earth loses speed mostly because of tidal pulls”
One second only? that is very cheap. Just look at our Assyrians and their new year celebration, and you will realize just how generous we are. Unlike these cheap scientists who only added one second to the year, our Assyrians added many more seconds. Some added twelve seconds, some twenty seconds, and some up to thirty five seconds! Now that is generosity. Or maybe laziness, sloppiness and disorganization.
The extra seconds that our Assyrians added, are in reference to the time our parties celebrated the arrival of the new year, usually with a 10 second countdown. According to various accounts from people who were present at these parties, most of these countdowns were pretty late, by up to half a minute in one instance! To some it may not be that big of a deal, and to others, they may not have even felt it. But let us pause for a second here and think about it: if we can’t even coordinate such a simple task, and not just by split seconds, but within several seconds, then there is something wrong. And it is ironic that it is happening on the eve of a new year, where science, humanity and technology can only move forward, and not backward.
The problem of punctuality and tardiness has plagued our Assyrian society for some time now. But when will it stop or at least be less of an issue than it is today? nothing is immune from this: whether it is a church mass, a community rally, a political speech, or in this case something as specific and time sensitive as a new year countdown. Getting our nation back on its feet starts from simple acts of time organization like this. Sure there are more important issues than wasting a few seconds on a new year countdown, but if we can’t get something this simple under control, then how are we able to control bigger and more complicated tasks and issues?
Add my lost seconds, to your lost minutes, to other Assyrians’ lost hours, and so on, and what you get is very vital time and history lost. Time that could have been spent doing many important things. Or simply, time lost and in process making our image look even more shaky to the world. Let us get serious, more organized and always on time. Let me end this here and compensate for the lost seconds at your new year party. If you were on time, good for you, and you probably have time to re-read this article once again.