Rich and Poor Have the Same Amount

The other day I was listening to my favorite morning radio show:  ARMSTRONG & GETTY.  Jack Armstrong is close to my age if not my age:  FIFTY-TWO.  He has an eight year-old son & a six year-old son.  One of his sons has “challenges.”  Jack is very open regarding his son’s challenges and how they weigh AT TIMES on his family.  Or… his lack of sleep.

Jack shares a lot about his personal life… WHICH I LOVE!  He was open about TIME.  How he being his age with two young sons, he appreciates his time with them very much.  He inferred he probably enjoys his time with his boys more at his age, than if he was twenty-five years-old.  This is because when one is twenty-five years-old, one sees so many more years ahead of him than being fifty-two.  They can think I have way many more “tomorrows” to spend time with my child.  He appreciates his time so much with his sons, in part, because he knows he has many more years behind him than ahead of him.


This subject of time hit me so hard.  At the end of the band camp, the twenty-sixth high school band camp of my twenty-nine years of teaching high school music, I cried in front of the students.  I shared with them my “end” is coming sooner than my beginning.  I don’t have another twenty-nine years left to teach or be part of high school education.  And frankly, that may be a good thing – but that is another topic for another blog entry.

I really do see time very differently today than I did on July 3, 1989 and years following – my first day teaching high school music.  I do see time going by much faster and I know it is because I am facing where I am at in my life.  It is so important for me to welcome every day with a sense of LOOK FOR AND EMBRACE THE POSITIVE, especially with all the negative CRAP we are seeing from the younger folks.

Sure.  There are many more positives than negatives and YOU KNOW that the negative CRAP gets the attention.  We start to be engrossed by the negativity.  But, to ignore the negative is ignoring the bump on your skin that could be melanoma, which eventually takes over your body and you die from cancer.  I do believe the negative is Cancerous.

We need to do all we can to look at time with the same reverence / respect / opportunity at twenty-five as we do at fifty-two.  These people who are choosing to hurt people are young.  Definitely, the majority of them are young!  Help their soon-to-be calloused heart soften!  They need to know, they hurting others is not an effective way of using their time.  Read Matthew 13:15  For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’  In fact, this Saturday (8/4) in Portland, there are planned protests with OPEN THREATS OF VIOLENCE!  What the hell?!  Humans suck at times.

To the young parents, get off your phones when walking your children.  Be their tour guide.  You on your phone / radio / music is so damn selfish.  Point out all the “blues.” All the oranges.  All the reads.  Play the damn game, “I spy ______” Touch the leaves with your child.  Take a second to smell nature.  You on your phone is almost as bad as one of my high school students.  Your child needs your guidance and how do you guide when you are distracted or focused on you?  Your time with your child needs to be FOCUSED TIME.  The time will not return.

Final thing… many days throughout the school year, I begin my time with my TEENAGE STUDENTS with a reminder of :  TODAY IS THE ONLY (in this case) AUGUST 3, 2018 WE WILL EVER HAVE.  ARE YOU GIVING / SHOWING  RESPECT TO SUCH AN EVENT – THE ONE AND ONLY AUGUST 3, 2018?  Most likely not.  So, we as adults need to remind them and us (adults) every day is the “Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives.”  CUE THE THEME MUSIC!  A pearl is made by a grain of sand… one grain of sand makes a beautiful pearl.  Or as William Blake offers:  To see a world in a grain of sand.  And a heave in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.

How are you using your time?  In the end, I would hate for you to waste your time or even … be a waste of time.  Rich or poor, carefully choose and protect the one thing you will never get more of:  TIME.

There ya go — less than 815words.

1 thought on “Rich and Poor Have the Same Amount”

  1. Paul, I love your 815 well thought out words! I often say that time is my most precious commodity and I need to be wise in how and with whom I spend it for I only get the here and now for tomorrow is not promised. I am grateful for you and your gift of time spent reminding us to be present! Thanks buddy! – Trev

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