No. 890



It has been said that the American people only have two speeds -- panic and apathy. Most of us are either going at break-neck speed or wasting time on activities that don’t amount to a hill of beans.
A good analogy is the man or women who passes you on the highway, breaking the speed limit, and you see them an hour later sitting around doing absolutely nothing. It is in this context that I would like to share a few thoughts that could help you use your time in a more productive and satisfying way. If you are not already, I would like to suggest that you become a seize-the-moment person.
In the past I have certainly been guilty, but I suspect that most of us are so set in our routines that we develop blinders. As a result, we miss many opportunities that could enhance the quality of our lives and certainly the quality of those who are important to us. Over the past several years I can think of many times when a friend or family member has said, “Let’s go camping this weekend, go fishing, play golf, or go to a ball game,” things I enjoy doing. In most cases, while it was spur of the moment, I said “yes” and had a great time. While planning and having a schedule is important, we need to be flexible enough to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities when they come along.
I have a good friend here in Conway by the name of Leo Treat, and we share e-mails on a regular basis. Most are really good, positive and often funny, and we have a special bond that brings me a great deal of happiness. Recently he sent me an e-mail that contained this well-known saying, “Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.” This saying ties in with what I have been sharing with you. Regardless of where you live in this great country and read my column, I hope you have one or more Leo Treats in your life.
See if any of the following thoughts apply to you and then give them a little reflection. Some of these may cause you to change your priorities. “Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they are too rigid to depart from their routine. How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched ‘Jeopardy’ on television? I cannot count the times I have called my sister and said, ‘How about going to lunch in a half hour?’ She would gas up and stammer, ‘I can’t. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast. It looks like rain. And my personal favorite: It’s Monday.’ She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.”
Because most people cram so much into their lives, they tend to schedule their headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves, when all the conditions are perfect. We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Tommy toilet-trained. We’ll entertain when we replace the living room carpet. We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college. And here are a couple of thoughts that capture the essence of what this article is really about, and something we would each be better off for doing.
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, “We’ll do it tomorrow,” and in your haste, not see her sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say hi? If any of these things apply to you, here is what I encourage you to do, and don’t put it off. Share this with everyone you consider to be a friend and become more of a seize-the-moment person.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)