This will be the last article for this column for the year 2007. I am still amazed at how quickly time seems to pass as we get older. Perhaps when we were younger there was so little to occupy our time that it almost seemed to stand still for some moments.
I have often heard that youth is wasted on the young, well I guess we could add that time is squandered by the young. Looking through a pair of sixteen year old eyes is significantly different from those that have been peering at life for forty years. And, there is some added difficulty when attempting to see the world through eyes that have been focusing on time for more than seventy years.
But no matter how long we have been gazing at the life around us, it would have all been for naught if we were not active participants in the events as they occurred. Sometimes we get so caught up in planning for life that we forget to live. And, a wonderful part of celebrating life is sharing life and happiness with others.
One person who epitomizes this spirit of giving is Mr. Basil Neymour. Since I moved to this island several years ago, I have read about him extending his generosity to hundreds of children. Of course there may be many others just as generous as Mr. Neymour who choose to give anonymously.
However, since Mr. Neymour’s generosity is public knowledge, I can speak of this and applaud him publicly. I realize that he does not do this for accolades, but rather he genuinely cares about the youth of this country. Because he can, he does and that is living true to one’s calling.
I believe that when we live life with a giving heart and spirit, we are living life to the fullest. A person from the financial sector said the other day that Bahamians are spending about $1 billion dollars, but we are not saving anywhere close to that amount.
During this time of the year millions of dollars are spent on gifts to give to people as a gesture of love. But I wonder how much love and thought would have gone into purchasing those gifts. Many times our most beautiful gifts are the ones we spend little or no money on, because these gifts usually come from the heart.
We allow ourselves to get so caught up in the commercialization of Christmas that the true meaning gets lost among the wrapping paper, bows and scotch tape. While decorating trees and hanging lights is quite enjoyable it should all serve to heighten our anticipation for the birth of the Christ child and not the reception of gifts.
So while some of you may be marking the time left before you can leave work to begin celebrating Christmas or simply another holiday, think about how much time you may have wasted this year. Anyone who has lived for more than four decades can attest to how quickly those years seem to come once you would have arrived at that milestone in life.
Musing over years gone by will definitely not bring them back. It is not too late to put your plans into action. You should not spend your entire life planning to live; there comes a point when you must do and not just plan or think about doing. You must understand that getting to those first thirty years of life could almost be a ride in slow motion, but the ride definitely speeds up and does not slow down again until the engines rust or freeze up when we get past our sixties or seventies. While that is not to suggest that life ends at seventy, many will agree that the preceding thirty or thirty-five years can be quite productive.
So if time has not been your friend, you have a chance in 2008 to capture an extra twenty-four hours since it is leap year. How will you spend this extra time? Will you squander it like the teenager, savour it like the seventy year old, or live in it as it happens? It’s your time, you decide.