can you spare 5 minutes? if you’re like me, your knee-jerk reaction would probably be “of course not. don’t you know how busy i am?!” a recent article in the NY Times talked of “the busy trap” we all fall into. “it’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve ‘encouraged’ their kids to participate in. they’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.”
we race around like the rabbit in “alice in wonderland,” frantically checking our giant pocket watches (ok iPhones), and fretting about being “late for [yet another] very important date.”
we count minutes and hours, days and months. and we never once stop to think about seconds, a time unit so miniscule that nothing remarkable could possibly transpire within it. but a recent campaign by mont blanc sparked a revelation.
“the beauty of a second” was a cannes-winning campaign for montblanc watches, conceived for the web and targeted to a worldwide audience. the simple idea was to ask people to create a 1-second long video that celebrates the fragile beauty that can be found in this small unit of time.
the results were simply breathtaking.
these were the inspiring user submissions around key themes:
1st round: seconds of beauty (1:07): http://vimeo.com/32071937
2nd round: night and day (1:10): http://vimeo.com/33978304
3rd round: instant bliss (1:08): http://vimeo.com/36897783
4th round: every second counts (1:12): http://vimeo.com/39489909
a new measure of time told by people’s lives. who knew there was actually space in such a tiny unit of time: to see, to breathe, to feel, to take in life. not just on week-long vacations. but in days, hours, the minutes in between, scrambling to work, during lunch, when the day is winding down—even during the seconds that tick away inconspicuously, fly under our radar, but are filled with extraordinary beauty.
if i asked you at the beginning of this post whether you could spare 300 seconds, the sight of those zeroes would have had you running for the hills. but it’s the exact same amount of time, only looked at through a different lens. our days are incessantly measured, but each tick of the second hand is a potential moment of revelation. will you wake when the alarm goes off?