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December 1, 2014

Precious Time

A poet once said, man longs for eternity, yet he can’t find anything to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon. We say that time is valuable, yet we waste so much of it every day. We throw it away on the trivial and the foolish; moments of our lives that we can never get back. We waste it being angry, bitter, or feeling sorry for ourselves. We waste it following the lead of people or things that lead us nowhere. Time slips through our hands and there is only so much in the hourglass; and we can’t say for sure how much is in it. Perhaps we would be wise to remember the words of Howard Walter;

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare. 

I would be friend of all—the foe, the friendless;
I would be giving, and forget the gift;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.

There are many things we can do with our time here. We can’t all conquer the seven seas or go to the moon, but we can do something every day that can take advantage of the gift of time. Perhaps no one knew this better than Walter himself when he died at the age of 35 in Lahore during the 1918 flu pandemic outbreak. Some live longer than others. It isn’t a matter of fairness for there is nothing fair or unfair in the universe of the Dao. There just is.