The afternoon rays filtered through the lace curtains, falling softly across my mum’s face. I was propped up on the couch in front of her, my legs carelessly thrown over the armrest.
She was talking animatedly about her favorite subject – my dad :), and his recent exploits. I watched her face, as myriad expressions flitted across within seconds and felt a strange kind of contentment. The face that had been once guilty of an arresting purity, had aged over the years and now reflected a woman with a deeper strength of purpose.
It had been about half hour after lunch, and this was one of our usual conversation periods. We would joke, and reflect – on ourselves, on our family, society, human emotions and life in general. In the kitchen, on the living room couch, in the balcony, or on the phone – the location didn’t matter; many years had passed and these languid moments of companionship hadn’t changed.
I thought to myself… Surely, there was something deeper in this than just frank, effortless, soul-soothing communication? Was I under-estimating the value of these moments?
My stream of thought moved on. With a familiar pang in my heart, I thought of how easily we forgot what life was about. It’s always, “I have yet another thing to do”, or “there’s a very important meeting that I cannot afford to miss”, or “I simply don’t have the time!”. All the while, our most basic needs are sacrificed at the altar of mindless-routine.
And as I thought more about it, it dawned on me. That this is probably what this New Year needed to be about the most:
The thought that there is much more to human life than existence, thousands of commitments, and all our precious monetary/material possessions. The thought that the world feeds off the energy and spirit of living individuals… not mindless zombies :).
The world that we all should be living in is the one that blooms with companionship, and each day brings that one miracle that owes its creation to love. A world where someone somewhere could still become a champion for under-rated (perhaps altogether-alien) values like honesty, integrity, fearlessness, and compassion.
Those moments of being-ness that I experienced as I heard my mother talk brought forth a thought that I wish I remembered more often: That as people, we all have a unique gift that only we can provide: Our Time.
I realized that the most precious gift we could give those who really mattered to us (parents, spouse, children, friends…), was a few minutes of our lives – a few fragments of our otherwise complicated existence:
- A few minutes to listen to aspects of their lives. Their thoughts, aspirations, hopes and sorrows.
- A few minutes to observe and imbibe aspects of their personalities. Their uniqueness. Their crazy yet endearing ways.
- A few minutes to tell them more about ourselves. Give them a feel of what we as individuals are experiencing.
- A few minutes to show them that it was really important to us that they were around. And that despite all the things we could be doing otherwise, we wanted to spend those moments with them, because nothing else mattered as much.
- A few minutes that we could choose to spend today… minutes that we could look back upon many years later, and feel grateful for. Especially when those we chose to give this gift to, are no longer with us.
The Gift of Time. The Gift of Love. The Gift of Life.
So ask yourself (as I asked of me): This new year, are you ready to give this gift to someone in your life?
Happy New Year everybody!!! (and please make your choices wisely :))