When is the right time?

How many times in your life have you asked yourself, “Is this the right time?” I suspect more than once.  You may even recall precisely when.  It is as likely to have transpired to your discredit if you chose to ignore the sonorous call. I’m thinking for example of would-be love affairs because those in my experience tend to strike home most noticeably. If by chance you were one who opted to do something about it, at the very least you know of what constitutes the deprivation; and, you may have stumbled on a great deal more. Whatever the outcome it no doubt inspires a wistful memory. A ship departing on the distant the horizon always does! On this Valentine’s Day I must however digress to less prismatic instances when the decision about the right time to do something also strikes us as unexpectedly.

The singular feature regarding the right time to do anything is that it is strangely preceded by an inquisitiveness to do so. We are as serendipitously reminded of the adage that time awaits no one. Then we’re confronted with the sequel; namely, not to think too hard or long about the venture before the opportunity evaporates. This very natural stimulus we haphazardly call “curiosity” is rooted in far more nutritious soil than we may at first credit.  Aside from the obvious urges arising from our innate needs to feed and protect ourselves, all others are founded on insinuations of bloodline, history, accident, breeding, material and immaterial sources; and, in some cases the influence of others. Some might even say, “God given!” It is by any measure a refined fabric. Whatever the anatomy – and it really matters not – the projection is complicated. It is for this reason alone that one is urged not to think too hard or long about it – not so much because time is of the essence but more because it is too tangled and elaborate to comprehend in any event.  It is an inner desire; and a very personal one. As an illustration I am reminded of the oft-repeated but elucidative quip, “If she knows why she loves him she doesn’t!”

Once again I lapse into the romantic vernacular which historically betrays one’s caprice. But I need not.  There are so many other illustrations of the point though perhaps with less retail mileage. The simple urge to express one’s opinion of a matter; or, perhaps more dangerously, of another! Even an abstract view of a particular thesis; or, what is more current, an expression of political bias.  What heightens the value isn’t so much the “radical left” proposal to speak your mind (or any other dismissive label of popular psychology) but rather what is frequently an extraordinarily personal insight into the topic. Significantly, capturing the moment may even astound you! It is quite surprising how unaware and unprepared we are of our own discovery. The exposure – because that’s what it ultimately is – may also alert others to what was hitherto concealed. Clearly the uncovering promotes opportunity on all sides; and similarly invites reciprocity without which there can be only diminished dialogue.  Nothing is more hurtful or dull than a one-way conversation.

The answer to the question, “When is the right time?” is strangely not a question at all.  We all know when is the right time though we may dispute the matter within ourselves or think of reasons to protract or advance the cause. Because the appetite for the right time to do something is but a hesitant expression of a desire to do so, we need only listen to the equally instinctive reply from the same well within us. Like so many other instinctive urges, the debate about timing requires nothing more than a reaction to it – otherwise, like the instinct to run, we risk fulfilling the need at our expense. It is worthwhile to note that acting at the right time may be an undertaking confined to one’s private library of activity.  Consider for example the hesitant submission to a passion which you characterize “mentally” (as opposed to “instinctively”) as insufficient for some reason.  There’s nothing indecorous about private curiosities. I’m not suggesting weird or lascivious matters; rather, simple things like certain artistic creations. There is no need to “share” the expression other than with oneself.  But whatever the percolation, and for whomever it may be relevant, allow it to surface.  Don’t wait for the wrong time!