Time for a Stay of Execution

“What do you call that thing when you know what you want to say, but you can’t say it; or you can’t say it well enough to make that thing (whatever it is) proud… Well, whatever it is, here’s mine, and it’s about time” (taken from the Preface to Heidegger and Executive Education: The Management of Time, forthcoming).

TIME is the mother of all topics that gets us talking, gets us all wobbly and philosophical, like the preceding paragraph. Even managers and executives get all yakky on the topic of time. All of us don’t have enough of it, even when we sometimes have too much of it. How can that be? In the case of the corporate executive, I’m saying it’s because philosophers have left you out of their brainy loop, deliberately so. Ha! They’re onto something with their reckoning with time, these philosophers (with times plural, because there are many, they say), but assume since the average executive has conned themselves into thinking they don’t have any time, or only equate what they have of it with money, that they’re not interested in being edified, brainified, or in being disabused of their loss – as it is a bereavement. Philosophers weep at the extremes of time poverty they witness, especially in the executive class, where ravenous time eats whole careers for breakfast.

What would an education be like that reinstated, for the corporate executive, a more edifying sense of time? For sure, it would interfere with the sovereign notion of time as a sequence, such that, as Ben Lerner says, “cause began to shed its calories / like sparks.” It would certainly provide a fragrant interlude between an executive’s perpetual executions. Like a spooky stay of execution: an event I call a stay of education.

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