“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” (Henry Van Dyke)
The world has certainly gotten crazier over the last decade. The way people act you’d think none of us had anything in common. It seems we’re on one side or the other and it’s always the wrong side if it’s not the side you’re on.
A few months before he was assassinated, John F. Kennedy, in a speech at American University in Washington, D.C. said:
“For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
I think, somewhere along the line, we forgot that we’re all in this together — no matter what side of the fence we’re on. It makes no sense to hate someone who doesn’t think the way you do. But there sure is a lot of that going around these days, isn’t there?
We’ve been through this many times before – think of the crusades where each side believed they were so right that the other side needed to be obliterated. Thank goodness, we’ve become a little more civil – or have we? I’m not so sure.
I know that these few humble words won’t change the world. They are but candles in the wind – flickering as they are extinguished by the wind.
But one single torch can light the world.
Everyone has the right to choose how they will believe and the path they want to follow. But to denigrate those who believe differently and who follow a different path than we do makes no sense to me at all. Trying to tell someone else how to believe is only going to end up frustrating you and alienating the other.
No one is always right — although you’d never believe it watching the political theatrics at play right now. No one is always right, no one is always wrong, no one is inherently better than anyone else.
The rich are not better than the poor; the educated are not better than the uneducated; beautiful is not better than ugly; the well are not better than the sick. But somehow the world has adapted a scale where people feel privileged to judge the rest. Of course, it’s not fair and assuredly not logical.
Some of you are religious. Jesus was not rich, and, according to the prophecies of Isiah, He was not handsome…
“He has no form or comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him…” (Isaiah 53:2).
Rich or poor, strong, or weak, beautiful, or ugly, well, or sick and on and on… we are all in this together. Besides the fact that we all live on the same planet and we all breathe the same air, and we all die — we all share the constant universal constraint and that is time.
We are all bound by it. We all must live with it. We cannot stop it. We cannot turn it back. We cannot save it. We cannot defeat it. We cannot cheat it. We cannot create it. We cannot destroy it. But it will eventually kill you and me and everyone that lives.
Our time on this planet that we all share, is short. We all should make the most of the time we have – but it seems to me, we’re not doing a very good job of making the most of the time we have on this earth.
We allow ourselves to be tribalized by contemporary but surely evanescent beliefs and mantras. We get so caught up in opinions and prejudices, we forget the fact that, right before our eyes, time is ticking away. And using our time to spread hate or disparage others or their beliefs seems like an awful waste of our precious time to me.
I don’t know how much time I have left, and neither do you. But if you want to know what’s important think about this…
The only things that really matter and are important are the things that will matter on your last day on earth. If you’re lying on your deathbed, money won’t matter, other people’s beliefs won’t matter. And rich or poor, black, or white, Democrat or Republican, strong, or weak, and all the other worldly judgments – won’t matter. The only things that will matter are the people you love and who love you. When you’re about to slip off to that eternal coil – all that really matters is love.
I wrote an essay years ago about time and its crux was… While I’m killing time, time is killing me. And it’s true.
If you think of today as your last day on this planet – you’ll think about what really matters. Those are the important things. And end the end it does not matter whether someone else believes as you do, or votes as you do, or looks like you do, or worships as you do.
We all live on the same planet and we all breathe the same air; all of us are killing time while time is killing us.
And of the time you have left, why not try to make every minute matter?