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Master Time: Dictates everything from when to get up to when we die

There are two things that most Winter Olympics games have in common -- they involve sliding action of some sort and they pit the contestants not against each other, but against the clock, against time.

Time is our master, and it rules with an iron fist. It tells us when to wake up and when to sleep, when to arrive and when to leave, when to be born and when to die. Time has dirty tricks, cruel punishments in store for anyone who tries to undermine his harsh rule.

If we don't time our births well -- my mistake -- we bypass the good years and end up being born in 1992. If only my life had been shifted 40 years into the past... I could have experienced the Summer of Love right after graduation and everything would have been just dandy.

Instead, I'm faced with a life spent facing down the end of the Mayan Calendar and paying off the national debt.

As an element in nature, and recognized as the forth dimension, it is cruel dominating, satisfied with nothing less than total control of our lives and livelihoods.

Dimensions 1 through 3 are beneficial. They allow us to move forwards and backwards, left to right, up and down, and occupy an area of mass. Without the third dimension, we would exist only as drawings on a flat page, and without the second, we'd be nothing but straight lines. That would not be fun.

The forth dimension -- time -- is not so kind. As an opponent, it is ruthless -- impossible to beat. The Olympics have made that very clear: the contestant who walks away with the gold medal hasn't defeated time, only lost -- often by a matter of nanoseconds -- to a lesser degree than everyone else. I have never seen anyone post a negative time.

And if we don't die when we're supposed to, time -- along with his crony, gravity -- will turn us into old people, crippled and infirm shadows of who we used to be. Living and dying is all in the timing.

But it shouldn't have to be that way. We shouldn't have to spend our lives staring at our watches and scampering around, fretting about how we're going to make it down the rabbit hole before it's too late. We shouldn't have to grow old and inhabit the period in history time stuck us with.

How do we get there, how do we eliminate the oppressive concept of time from our lives? One solution -- the only plausible one I can think of, in fact -- is to ignore it completely. Burn our grandfather clocks and wristwatches and live as people did for thousands of years: independent and obedient of nothing but the movement of the stars and their own instincts.

If we stop acknowledging time exists, does it stop existing? If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, did it really make a sound? I can't answer that. But at the very least, if we ignore the concept of time, we can eliminate its power in relation to our lives.

Time can go join Bin Laden and Hitler in the realm of fallen dictators, and bother us no more.

We can finally live our lives as they were meant to be lived: as a fluid, natural unit -- unpunctuated and uncomplicated by seconds and hours and years and decades. We can grow younger if we so choose, or simply remain the same.

Unchained by the shackles of a constantly advancing time, we can go back and correct all our mistakes, fix our past. We can be slaves no more to the scourge of time -- limitless and free at last.

Nathan Kitzmann is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.