A while back I heard a talk about a concept that really intrigued me. It has been on my mind for a while so thought it might be a good idea to review the four things from which we cannot recover: the stone after it is thrown; the word after it is spoken; the occasion after the loss; the time after it is gone. Let’s look at each of these.
#1 – The stone after it is thrown.
How many times have we done something in haste, only to realize that we should not have not made that move or created that situation? I remember playing with my friends as a kid. We would often hide behind huge piles of dirt and throw dirt clods at each other. One afternoon Sammy threw a dirt clod at Bobby and hit him in the forehead. Unfortunately, the dirt clod had a rock in the middle of it and it burst Bobby’s head open. I can still see the blood streaming down his forehead into his eyes as he went running home to his mother. Sammy felt bad because he had not realized that there was a rock in the dirt clod. He told Bobby over and over again, “I would not have thrown it if I had known there was a rock inside of it!”
Of course, this is not talking just about actual stones. When we throw something into another person’s life or onto another person’s path, we need to be careful that it does not have the potential to harm them.
#2 – The word after it is spoken.
I was at a training program not too long ago and we were talking about the power of our words. A lady in the group spoke up and said, “I oftentimes lie in bed at night and review certain situation that happened during the day and wish I had thought to say something in a certain situation.” A gentleman on the other side of the room laughed and said, “That’s funny! I lie in bed and wish I had thought NOT to say something in a certain situation!” You see, once a word is spoken, it goes out and cannot be recovered.
I remember teaching my daughters about the power of our tongues as they were growing up. We were outside playing and I picked a dandelion. I asked them to blow it real hard. After they blew the dandelion, of course, the seeds scattered into the wind and were gone. I then looked at them and told them to go pick up all of the little pieces that came off of the dandelion. They looked at me and said, “We don’t even know where they all went! We can’t go find them!” I said, “And, that is the power of our tongue. Once a word is spoken and it goes out, we can’t find it. And once it does its damage, regardless of how powerful we are, we cannot recover it.” We indeed should be careful with our words!
#3 – The occasion after the loss.
How many of us have been in a relationship with someone, whether it be a friend or a family member, and we just did not pay enough attention to the occasion? Perhaps we were there in body, but our heart and mind were somewhere else far, far away. People do not like to be in situations where they feel lost. They want connectivity. They want to feel as though you are engaged with them in the process of life. Because I stay so busy, I fight with this on a daily basis. Many times my body will be in one location, but my mind will be somewhere else. I have learned that most people just don’t appreciate that posture. As a matter of fact, it is one of my daily goals to be wherever I am 100%. And, then when I go somewhere else, I can be there 100%. I am going to stop being one place physically and another place mentally all the time. It creates too much loss and it hurts the occasion in which I find myself involved. I have spoken with many other people who have this same challenge. I think it is very important to be both physically present and mentally alert wherever we are on a daily basis.
#4 – The time after it is gone.
It is true that we all have the same amount of time and it is the one commodity that none of us can get back once it has past. Whether we are the President of the United States or the person on the street looking for a job, we all have the same amount of time. It is not how much time we have that is the issue as much as it is what we do with the time we are allotted. Once it is gone, there is nothing we can do to gain it back.
Because I am heading more towards the end of life than the beginning of life, I am beginning to see many of my friends pass away. It is one thing to see parents, and older family and friends pass away, but when you start to see friends who are your own age die, it becomes a sobering thought. None of us is going to live forever, yet we act like that is the case. But, just as surely as time has come to an end for everyone else who has passed away, it will also come to an end for us one day. And, the old saying is true that if we lose our money, we can work hard and gain more money, but if we lose our time, we cannot gain back more time, for it will be gone forever.
Thinking about these four things that cannot be recovered has helped me to be a little more focused and alert to having a better daily life in the here and now. I want to be careful with the way I live my life and the way I treat other people, as well as the way I influence those with whom I come in contact. I believe these four items are a great start and I encourage all of us keep them in mind as we go through life day by day.
Tip: Four things from which we cannot recover.
Have a great week! God bless you!