There used to be a graffiti sprayed on a construction partition over on 46th Street near Madison Avenue that said, “This moment is more precious than you think.” I used to see this when I would drive in on Saturday mornings, earlier than the sunrise, and I always noticed the words which hit home.
I swear we take too much for granted. Take this day for example. Today is Christmas Eve. Today marks the evening of a great day. This is a day of giving. This is a day of family. This is a time when all are gathered together and trust me; this moment is more precious than you think.
A woman walked into one of my empowerment classes carrying a decorative shopping bag, stuffed with papers and important documents. She is homeless. She seemed a little bit unsure of herself. She was a little unsure of me. She was certainly unsure of why she found herself in my classroom.
The oddest part of this was her striking resemblance to my Mother. She looked at me the same way Mom did. Spoke softly too. Although she seemed a bit disoriented, there was something in her eyes. And I felt this. I felt this in my heart. The papers in my eyes were a connection to a memory I had of going through Mom’s things. I swear she looked just like Mom—
And then it hit me. It hit me hard too.
It is true. This moment is more precious than we think. This time and this day, the things we share together, the good times and the bad ones too; life is just a fleeting moment. So be mindful of this.
It amazes me how much time we waste. I think about arguments I’ve had over the years that resulted in total and painful separation. I think of last or final conversations with loved ones and how if I knew this would be the last time; I would have said something different. I think of the huge and wasteful divide between people over politics. I think of all the hurtful things I said or did and wish I could take them back.
I think of all the mistakes I made out of emotion or out of hastiness of my own inaccurate and insecure thinking. More accurately, I am thinking about all the time I wasted trying to prove myself right instead of simply living in the moment, enjoying what comes to me, and understanding that this moment is more precious than I think. So don’t waste another minute.
I think about the life i could have had if I just learned to separate me from my fears and not been too afraid to take a chance. I think of these things and yes, I agree. This moment is precious.
No more looking back. No more regret. No more lies. No more interactions that do not deserve my attention. No more bad personal investments in bad relationships. No more wasteful people. No more one sided friendships. No more senseless arguments. No more useless conversations. No more poor investments of time and energy.
A long time ago, I sat in an energy conservation class. I was learning about building operations from a landlord’s perspective, how to shed costs, improve efficiency, eliminate waste, and improve profit and building productivity.
Of course all of these lessons were based on energy consumption; whether it was electricity, steam, or heating, venting, or air conditioning systems, the idea is to conserve, save, and lower costs to improve the profit margin for my boss.
I think about all the energy I waste in personal life. Think about the time we would have to interact with one another if we were able to cut down on waste.
Think about how precious this moment would really be if we were totally and completely present instead of having our attention diverted to someplace else.
Think about how our personal productivity would improve if we just shut the lights on the thoughts we aren’t using at the time . . .
What I mean is the mind is filled with many different storage rooms and offices. Our thoughts are like workers in building suites.
Think about our source of energy, which is always constant. Think about the lights we have on in our mind and how much energy this burns.
What would our energy consumption be like if we simply shut some of those lights off? How much personal fuel would we save if we chose to direct our energy in more favorable places instead of rethinking old conversations or re-enacting old arguments and rehearsing them in our minds a thousand times just so we can recreate the unfixable past and come out on top? Think about our productivity if we would give ourselves the permission to make this so.
“This moment is more precious than you think,” is the best way to say stop wasting your time.
Today, I woke to a white Christmas. There is a layer of snow on the ground and snow on the branches of the trees around me. The mountains behind my home are snow-covered. The sky is gray but the moment is absolutely beautiful.
Last night, I sat on the couch across from my Christmas tree because I wasn’t able to sleep. I had a conversation with my Mother. Told her I missed her and thought about a white Christmas. I couldn’t remember the last one and in the quiet prayer shared with Mom, I wondered what it would be like to wake up to a light snowfall.
One could argue this is coincidence. One could argue a lot of things but me, I’m done arguing.
Behold, this moment is more precious than you think
So don’t waste it . . .