A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.
SON: Daddy, may I ask you a question?
DAD: Yeah sure, what is it?
SON: How much do you make an hour?
DAD: ‘That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?’ the man said angrily.
SON: I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?
DAD: If you must know, I make £30 an hour.
SON: ‘Oh,’ the little boy replied, with his head down.
SON: Daddy, may I please borrow £15?
The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don’t work hard every day for such childish frivolities.” The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that £15 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep, son?” he asked.
“No, I’m awake.” replied the boy.
“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier.” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I too my aggravation out on you. Here’s the £15 you asked for.”
The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you daddy!” He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up notes. The man saw that the boy already had money, and started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. “Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the father grumbled.
“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied. “Daddy, I have £30 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you. I miss you so much…”
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that £30 worth of your time with someone you love.
If we are gone tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours, but the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.
Imagine if you were just hit by a car and taken to hospital:
- How many of your friends would say “I hope (s)he’s ok.” out loud, then continue with their day?
- How many would “just finish this one thing” and then text you or something if they could remember to?
- How many would text you and your family for updates every 5 minutes?
- How many would make some time free to ring you or your family to check if you’re ok?
- How many would stop whatever they were doing and rush to be by your side?
Fewer than you expected, isn’t it.
Take that last group of people. Those are your true friends. Those are the ones that if your world falls apart, you can count on them to stay by your side no matter what. Their numbers may be small, but their loyalty and compassion is limitless.
- When was the last time you talked to them?
- When was the last time you asked them if they were OK?
- What would you do if they were the ones in despair?
- If they read this, would you be on that list of people that would be there for them?
Today I was faced with this very question. It made me think about how selfish I really was worrying about always starting conversations. I thought about what recieving that text, that phonecall, that unexpected visit, meant to them. If that one little text out of the twenty sent out made someone feel appreciated and cared, then that would make me happy too.
Compassion is a very rare thing these days. I realized that a couple of people that I thought would be there for me in my time of need I had just passed by and assumed that they were fine and dandy and living it up. Maybe you should take some time now to just text one of your friends if they’re OK, you may learn something.