Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Bargaining for Time

13 June 2017


In my recent blog on Acceptance, I mentioned Bargaining as the 3rd step in the Kübler-Ross model of processing Grief. I have never written about this topic. Perhaps I couldn’t envision this step, perhaps it was too personal. Since a few days, I was bargaining without realising it.

Bargaining is a common feature in our lives. Wiki: “Bargaining or haggling is a type of negotiation in which the buyer and seller of a good or service debate the price and exact nature of a transaction.” There is also collective bargaining.

Bargaining for (extra) Time is deeply ingrained in our society. At work, we ask to delay a deadline. During sports, we ask for injury time. During exams, we ask for extra time to compensate a handicap like dyslexia. In families, kids may ask parents to postpone household chores. In relationships, we ask for extra time to think about important decisions.

In our prayers to Ahura Mazda, Allah, God or Yahweh, we may bargain for extra Time, either for ourselves or for our loved ones, while processing our Grief. I suppose that we are all willing to give time from our own lives to our loved ones. It just feels better growing old together. Time is the most precious gift that we can give each other anyway.

A negotiation with a deity may seem utterly meaningless, even for people who have faith or are religious. Nevertheless, we do it anyway. Not bargaining for Time feels even worse as if the person does not even deserve our bargaining. It’s like a no show of a lawyer during the trial of his/her client. Without a defence, the client seems guilty before the trial ends.

My girlfriend feels guilty towards me and towards others. I had noticed before that she is easily susceptible to feelings of guilt. Guilt requires accountability and/or responsibility from her towards me. There is none. Hence, there cannot be guilt. On an emotional level, feelings of guilt are however quite complex and usually deep.

I didn’t expect my girlfriend being back in hospital this quick. Based on her medical history, neither did she. I was already worried and now I am deeply worried after having seen her in hospital again. I don’t want to lose another friend. Losing Joan in June 2016 was almost too much. Bargaining didn’t make sense that time. The despair over the Why question hit me later.

I will be bargaining again for extra Time tonight, when I have my talk with God (see song below). It’s the least that I can do for her. She deserves it, I know she does.

“Time is the most precious gift in our possession, for it is the most irrevocable. This is what makes it so disturbing to look back upon the time which we have lost. Time lost is time when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering. Time lost is time not filled, time left empty.” A quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Have a Talk with God (1976) by Stevie Wonder – artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

When you feel your life’s too hard 

Just go have a talk with God 

When your load’s too much to bear 

Just go talk to God He cares 

I know He does 


Framework Posts


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest