By John Hutchinson

The final countdown

The Tikker
“The Tikker”

How would you like a count-down watch – a timepiece to let you know how long you'll live?

Promoters of The Tikker think that a countdown watch will change us for the better – and encourage people to make the most of their days.

One said, 'All we have to do is learn how to cherish the time and the life we've been given, to honour it, suck the marrow from it, seize the day and follow our hearts. And the best way to do it is to realise that seconds, days and years are passing never to come again...'

They want to see 'Tikkers' on as many wrists as possible.

The Tikker was inspired by the death of Fredrik Colting's grandfather. It inspired Fredrik to pay more attention to the passing of time. He said, 'it made me think about death and the transience of life, and I realised that nothing matters when you're dead – instead what matters is what we do when we're alive.' He then thought about inventing a 'mortality' watch.

The watch is set by loading it with information about our state of health, eating and living habits and heredity traits. It then begins counting down to our last day.

The Tikker, of course, can't predict the unpredictable. Accidents and illness can end our days without warning.

An illness brought me within a whisker of death when I was a kid of seven. Another close call in child hood nearly left me, and my two younger brothers, buried beneath a truck load of rocks.

One day, after a long drive, I came over a rise to be confronted by a heavy bull barred four wheel drive passing a long line of cars. We both made the split second decision to leave the road and nearly collided off road. Fortunately I was able to pull back and, despite going into a slide at high speed, missed the other vehicle as he plowed through the bushes.

The psalmist said, "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is." (Psalm 39, verse 4).

Most prefer not to know about their end. The big thing, however, is to live out our days in the most meaningful way.

When young, we're full of anticipations and expectations. When older, we're more reflective and look back on where we've been and what we've achieved.

We must avoid the disappointment of people like Mark Brandon Read, otherwise known as 'The Chopper,' who said, "I know I've said I regret nothing – but the truth is that I regret plenty. I regret my whole life."

Time is a gift. We need to use it thoughtfully. Will the world be a better place because I've been around?

We have a responsibility to others. Too many are deprived of life's necessities. Can we use some of our plenty to make it a little better for those near us and those across the seas?

We must view time as an opportunity. Our Creator not only gave us an opportunity to live but set us up with stupendous faculties. The faculties of sight, hearing and memory allow us to experience and think about the wonders of the universe and the world around us.

While The Tikker counts down to our last day we would do well to remember the admonition of the Bible:

"So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90 verse 12)

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