Lance Scranton: 20 minutes
The past week has been a flurry of activities culminating in Memorial Day and remembering those who made a determination to become the many who help protect our way of life and the liberties we enjoy as Americans. Too many times the world has frayed and the United States of America has been the willing country to help sew things back together; usually without much thanks.
A story is told of a young man and his father who are visiting the city and walking through a section of town where the father stops and asks the boy to explain what he sees. The boy responds that he sees a whole bunch of people walking into a big church. They continue talking but the dad stays in one place and after about 20 minutes asks the boy again what he sees. Again the child responds by explaining that all those people who were going into the big church a little while ago, are now coming out.
The father goes on to explain that he really hopes his young son will remember what he sees here today and live his life doing what is right. The young boy asks why a bunch of people going in and out of a church should be such a big deal. His father responds, “those people were attending a funeral and someday everything you have done in life will be summed up in about 20 minutes – so make certain your life reflects how you want to be remembered.”
Twenty minutes doesn’t seem like a very long time to talk about anything, but I’m certain that if we looked back over the conversations we’ve had with people when we attend services, host graduation parties, or make the rounds on graduation day or walk around at Grand Old West Days; we might find the interactions are some of the most meaningful times in our lives.
We’re always looking forward — and that’s a good thing, but taking the time to listen to others and to interact with the people who make up our community is 20 minutes of time well spent. Seems like most of our lives are made up of chunks of time and when we’re not too busy; spending 20 minutes talking to someone or a group of people is likely one of the best investments in keeping our society knit together than anything else we do everyday.
Some of the best memories I’ve had over the weekend were made up of conversations with people who shared memories and spoke about people who are really important in their lives. Some thanked me for being a positive influence, but mostly I just listened and thought to myself — this is what life is really about — we share our stories because they are part and parcel of what makes us who we are.
Time flies by and high school seniors wind down their time as graduation approaches. I’ve never encountered a graduate of our high school who doesn’t want their life to be better in some way, shape, or fashion. Things haven’t gotten any easier for young people who are surrounded daily by the pressures of an increasingly skill-specific economy and pressure-driven expectations for how their lives should be lived.