From: The Power of the Pause
Nothing can be more useful to a person than a determination not to be hurried. – Thoreau, 1842
At a playground, a woman sits down next to a man on a park bench. “That’s my son over there,” she tells him, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater gliding down the slide.
“He’s a fine-looking boy,” the man said. “That’s my son on the swing in the blue sweatshirt.” Then, looking at his watch, he calls, “What do you say we go, Todd?”
Todd pleads, “Dad, just five more minutes. Please? Just five more minutes.” The man nods and Todd continues swinging looking elated. Many minutes pass and the father calls again, “Todd, what do you think? Time to go now?”
“Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.” The man smiles and says, “Okay.”
“My,” the woman says, “you certainly are a patient father.”
The man smiles, “Last year my older son, Tommy, was killed by a drunk driver while he was riding his bike, not far from here. I never spent much time with Tommy. And now, I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. So, I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Todd. He thinks he has 5 more minutes to swing. But the truth really is, I get 5 more minutes to watch him play.”
Who needs 5 minutes of your life today?
The author continues:
Last week, I led a memorial service for a friend who, in his early fifties, died too young. So we gathered together and we celebrated, told stories (some happy, some sad), shared memories, and, as one might expect, even nursed a little lament. As one friend put it in his eulogy, “I’m sitting here thinking, I sure wish I had called him every time I had the urge.”
I wish I would have – I could have –
I wish . . .I wish I would have told her how much she meant to me . . . if only . . .I would have visited him last week when I thought about it. . .
But here is the deal: we can’t do anything about the choices we have made in the past, but we can learn from the past. We can make good choices with the five minutes we have now.
Life is about the choices we make now, with all of these five more minutes. Who needs 5 minutes of your life today?