This morning, I listened to a very smart and humorous man speak at church. He invited us all to think for a few minutes to complete the following lists. Try it:
- Name ten Academy Award winners.
- Name six of the most recent World Series champions
- Name five Pulitzer Prize recipients.
- Name ten of the richest people on the planet.
(If you can even get halfway through any of the lists, I'm impressed.)
Then, he asked us to think about completing the next few lists:
- Name three teachers who have inspired you.
- Name two heroes from your life.
- Name four people who have cared about you during a hard time.
The second set was significantly easier, right? And these are the people who don't have the crazy, through the roof credentials. Instead, these are the people who care about you.
In a world where it seems as though everyone is trying to be the richest or smartest or coolest or have the best stuff, that's not the stuff that actually matters. What matters, at least to me, is the personal connections I have with people.
I remember my funny third grade teacher who came up with an awesome way of teaching us about the Mayflower. I couldn't tell you the type of expensive car Jimmy's mom picked him up in. I remember when my high school writing teacher sat with me for hours (literally hours) to help me write my college essay, not the fancy prom dress that pretty girl was wearing. I remember all of the games my parents cheered me on, not who got the MVP Ball at the end of each game. I remember the people who've helped me and inspired me.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I'm a little bit weird. My students make fun of me for having OCD and my boyfriend thinks I tend to be impulsive. What can I say? I like things a specific way.
Recently, I made up a new rule for myself. It's very creatively called "The Five Minute Rule", which is actually not creative at all and completely explains itself solely within the name. When I feel like I really want something, whether it be to buy something I probably don't need on Groupon or to snag a handful of M&Ms, I wait five minutes.
If I still want it after those five minutes, then fine. Most times though, I've either forgotten about the Groupon good or the chocolate handful.
It seems as though we live in a world that is so "go-go-go". Everything is right at our fingertips. If we want to know the weather, we don't have to go outside; we just need to click on the weather app. If we have a question, Siri will answer it in a matter of seconds. We know everything our friends did today by scrolling through our Facebook and Instagram feed and people can get a date with a swipe of a finger on Tinder. Everything is immediate.
Has this instant gratification seeped into our lives into more ways than we realize, though? I might take it lightly that it's so easy to click "Buy" on my Groupon app, but what's this doing to me? I need to remind myself to stop and think about the things I'm doing and whether or not it's actually important or not.
In our super fast, super instantaneous world, slow down, even if it's only for five minutes.