Monday, February 11, 2013

How Long It Takes

Imagine that a particular city is an hour from where you live. It's not because you drive really slowly or always go at rush hour - it just takes you an hour to get there. Now let's say your friend lives in this city and asks you to meet them there in 20 minutes. When you explain that it will take you an hour, they say, "No it doesn't. You can get here in 20 minutes." They don't live where you live, they don't know any shortcuts, yet they keep insisting that it should only take you 20 minutes, and that you must be doing something wrong if it takes you an hour. Before you had this conversation, you never thought twice about how long it took, but now you start to wonder what's wrong with you that your drive takes so long.

That's what it's like when I say that I have so much homework and it's going to take me all night or all weekend, you ask me what I specifically have to do, and then you tell me that it won't actually take that long, when I just told you exactly how long it will take.  You keep insisting on it, and then ask me why it takes me that long, like I should have some kind of reason. Why does it take you however long it takes you to do anything?

I've got a great idea: No matter where you are in the world - meet me here right now, in 5 minutes! And if you can't do that, I'll assume something is wrong with you.

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