In that the New Year has just begun, I thought it might be appropriate to take a moment to write about my time dating method.

Take a moment to look above this post. do you think it is a little odd?

Europeans date smallest to largest time segment in a format. Chinese go the other way from largest to smallest in a way that I became familiar and use yyyy,mm.dd format.

Here in American, we start with the month and end with the year in a mm.dd.yyyy format. Unfortunately, this creates the potential for confusion between the European and American system for the first 12 days of each month.

Sure, this ought to be completely clear right in the moment when a document is being both prepared and delivered. This is especially true if it appears along with other documents which assist to confirm its time.

However, as the years roll out. You might not find that document’s time quite as easy to discern. For those of you who do a regular house cleaning purge every 7 years and may not agree, perhaps there is another reason you may want to consider.

No less than our county recorders’ offices have adopted this time dating method when it provides a record number. So, essentially we have a regionalized, long-standing convention that doesn’t work as well as another convention.

So, what should we do? Naturally, we should hue to the convention as long as possible until it becomes so patently clear that it doesn’t work that we end up forced to give it up. Just kidding!

The Chinese, who traditionally wrote on bamboo strips instead of papyrus, started at the upper left and wrote down and then had a “carriage return” which had them shifting to the next left, top bamboo strip to recommence their writting. 

While some texts still deploy this method, most Chinese documents have taken up our convention of right to left, then down and again as we do in the West.

And as long as I mentioned “carriage returns,” why is it that our keyboards continue to use the QWERTY system. [For those unfamiliar with that term, next time you are at your keyboard look along the upper row of your left hand and you will see what that’s about.]

At any rate, the whole purpose of QWERTY was to slow down input because there were some people who were so fast that they would jam up all their keys when typing out a document. But, now that we are using computers which act at the speed of electricity instead of mechanics, there is no reason to have to tap “A” with our left pinky finger. That’s a waste of time.

Now that I am coming to a close on this post, do you still think it is really about Time Dating Methods?

The answer is: No. It’s a post about taking a moment to think through long held beliefs and conventions. Is it possible that you are not maximizing because of undergirding and untested beliefs which are invalid?

If so, try to do a little house keeping purge of those misbeliefs and you will likely find that instead of finding yourself smack-dab in the center of the pack with everyone else, you are instead in a position where you feel you have some room to roam and better explore the unique talents and gifts which makes you as an individual much more valuable than someone who seeks to conform. 

Conformity is a path to mediocrity. Is that what you really want to have from today, this month, and this year?

Gee, but for the confusion it would cause with computer retrieval and for the first 12 days of every month, I think I prefer the European system over that of the Chinese. We live our lives not year by year, but instead – day by day.

Perhaps the best case would be to reflect are time in a format.

In other words, all we have is this moment … right now! How are we going to use it?

I’m going to go give my wife a kiss and the kids a hug.

Hope you have a good weekend.gray-small.png