Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Investing in the lives of those who look up to you will have a deep and abiding impact. Time spent with them can make all of the difference.

BJ was one who enjoyed being involved in the lives of others, no matter what the age. Here he is pictured with his younger cousins, Joshua and Emily (and our dog Dakota).

They so seldom were afforded the opportunity to spend significant amounts of time together, but when they were, they took full advantage. Memories like these do not fade quickly. They draw us closer even when the miles won't allow the physical touch or contact that we each desire.

Looking into the lives of nieces and nephews through the lens of "uncle," is not always accurate. Still, knowing that they are naming pets after their fallen loved one, and drawing pictures which include him at play with them, speaks volumes about the kind of impact he was able to have. They know what he stood for. They know that he loved them enough to play the games they wanted to play when they were together.

In our world where selfishness has become the entree' and others needs are always relegated to the 'a la carte' side of the menu, finding out what others desire and spending the time to fulfill them is no small thing.

There is so much truth in the pictures children draw. They innocently draw what they see. The brutality of their honesty is never intentional. That is measured by each of us, who do not appreciate the truth of our own lives being captured by pencil, crayola or ink.

The relative who always has a phone attached to their ear is not one who is measured as one who is available. The father who is absent in his child's picture needs to take notice...his children have.

The mother who reads to her children from an early age, and does not stop just because they too can comprehend words on a page, will do much to nurture creativity, curiosity, and foster learning into their young lives.

Time is the asset we all share the same amount of. What we choose to do with it is often up to us. How we choose to invest it is something we can control. We need to choose to spend it on those we love. If we don't, we are showing them what is truly important, and it isn't them.

You cannot substitute quality for quantity. There are seasons when you are forced to do this, but in the long haul version of your journey having time to be lazy together with no agenda is just as important as a full slate of activities, visited like a bee frequenting flowers.

Not everyone will agree with this. However, when my own children (now adults) reflect back on when they were little, what they talk about often centers around favorite memories. These often include watching "Winnie the Pooh" or other leisure events that brought meaning, not because of the quality of the show, but because of the intimacy experienced in viewing it together.

No matter what else you do or don't have, you do have time. Spend it on them. They need you to whether they act like it or not.



At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully stated and so very true. Time is often the greatest gift but is worth whatever is given up.

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved today's post. Would you mind if I borrowed it for a book I am compiling? We can talk about it tonight. Love you dad.


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