I never really took the time to think about “time” quite the way I do now that I am a parent, but I wish I had. I really do believe that an elaborate dissertation could be crafted around the interpretation of a “minute”. The bottom line is that it is the exact amount of time that it takes to change the world on a scale from a personal to global. Let’s take it down a peg first.
Here is how my mind operates. I get a moment of peace and calm in my day where my mind has not quite stopped firing and something seeps in that sets fire to my creative side. Here is that moment that led to this blog. When I am putting my kids down, I have figured out that after their little bodies have stopped moving and the eyes are closed (sometimes assumed closed), I have three minutes until deep sleep sets in, or at least deep enough for me to execute the ninja moves that it takes to get out of a dark room, riddled with obstacles, undetected. There is seldom a clock nearby that allows me to cheat the process so I count (in my head) three 60-second sets. Those 60 seconds are an eternity when the adult’s only portion of my day lay on the other side. Seriously, do it now. Stop reading and count 1-60 Mississippi. You had no idea did you?
But there is no other measurement of time quite like the minute. A “second” is far too fast to encompass total power and an “hour” is an eternity no matter where your vantage point lies, but “the minute” can mean so many things to so many people.
There is the “teenager on the phone minute” when they are being called to by a parent in the home…”I’LL BE THERE IN A MINUTE!” That is really like saying “you are number four on the priority list for the day”.
OR there is the “I’ll be there in a minute” when a girlfriend calls and says she thinks she hears somebody downstairs. You can’t possibly move faster than that.
There is the “they were just babies a minute ago” when you turn around and are celebrating your child’s 10th birthday.
OR there is the “they just started sleeping through the night this minute” which took a total of one thousand years to reach.
The reality is that everything…EVERYTHING boils down to one minute or the time that it truly takes to make life changing decisions or reactions. We arrive at the monumental minutes by stringing together many of them as a path, but ultimately the trigger time is a minute.
In our world of what we do, the minute is no different. We can choose to throw away that crayon or we can choose to figure out how to breathe new life into it. Think about the difference of those two minutes, because we have. On one hand, you can pitch the crayon into the trash and never see it, or think of it again, but that crayon will go on to rue your decision. It will go to a landfill and try to blend in for the next one hundred plus years ultimately unchanged, OR, you can locate the nearest Crayon Initiative box and drop it in there. Here you not only get the chance to possibly see that crayon again but certainly the opportunity to think about what your decision meant to a child in a hospital bed just trying to get well. Going back to our friend “the minute”, this is the exact amount of time it takes for a little body to turn the tables on its illness. In one minute, the internal fight is a losing one, then in the next, systems have been boosted, spirits have been raised and outlooks have improved. The possibility of creating that minute through art has been medically proven and all we aim to do is load the toolbox.
Think about “the minute” the next time the word crosses your lips and realize that 60 seconds is a very powerful amount of time. Worlds have crumbled and futures have been made possible all inside that tiny, seemingly insignificant amount of time.