It’s already the middle of December. Seems like time is flying by. As I thought about this recently, I realized the fleeting nature of time. You can give me $10 and I can give $10 back to you. You can give me a jacket and I can give a jacket back to you. You can give me a hamburger and I can give a hamburger back to you. But if you give me five minutes, I can’t give five minutes back to you.

We frequently ask questions like:

  • What time is it?
  • What time does the movie start?
  • What time should I pick you up at work?

However, the more important question is: What are we doing with the time we have?

While teaching social studies some years ago, Willow had a boy in her class who has come to be known in Top 20 lore as ‘slouching boy’.

Day after day as Willow interpreted this as a disinterested, bored student, Willow would give her day away to slouching boy. Upon returning home, she would take her frustration out on her husband.

Fortunately, Willow eventually realized that giving her day away to a slouching high school student was a fool’s game. She wasn’t going to win that one. She would deal with slouching boy, but she would never again give her day away to slouching boy. Willow began to live by the phrase:

Sometime later, we shared this story about Willow at a Top 20 training session in Sioux Falls. At the break, a man came up to us and said, “I want to introduce myself to you. My name is Steve Ring and I am the most generous man in all of South Dakota.”

“Why is that?” we asked Steve.

“Because I have given so many days away. I’ve given 29 days away to my next-door neighbor.”

In that moment, Steve realized that each day, each hour, each minute that he gave away was never going to come back again. Yes, he could give days away, but they were gone forever.

This was such a life-changing awareness for Steve that he called the next week and invited us to do a training for the people in Rock Valley, Iowa, where he is the Clinic Director for Hegg Health Center.

In preparing for this Wellness Wednesday, I came upon two quotes that we might want to keep in mind as we approach a new year.

Speaking of Lord of the Rings, Steve Ring has become a dear friend and Gandalf-type mentor for our team. Over the next few weeks, Steve is going to take over the piloting of Wellness Wednesday and share meaningful ways to decide what to do with the time that is given to us.

From our Top 20 team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom…who strive to keep each day.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training