Went to the bank the other day and saw an elderly gentleman slowly make his way towards the door with his walking stick in tow. I held the door for him and smiled. He looked at me, a bit of a surprise in his eyes and smiled as he gracefully entered the bank while joking with me about the awful weather.
I quickly walked past him once I made it in since I had a meeting to get to. One of the bank assistants asked him, “how are you doing today sir?” I could hear behind me. To which he responded, without missing a beat, “I’m above ground and taking names!” I chuckled as I overheard his honest statement.
I take my place in line behind a handsome Latino stranger. I could hear the old man’s walking stick behind me. The teller asks for the next person, my handsome companion encouraged the old man to go in front of us, but turned to me to make sure it was okay. I smiled and nodded my head with an “of course!”
My handsome Latin friend says, “I’m not in a hurry, sir, you can go ahead.”
My elderly muse makes his way to the front of the line to handle his financial business and I just stand there and admire him.
It was at that moment that I realized the universe was telling me the importance of slowing down, enjoying life, and being in the moment.
This man had to be pushing 80+, but even with his advanced experience on me he was more full of life than some of the 20 year olds I knew.
That’s the funny thing about life.
When you think you have a lot of it, you take each day for granted, hurriedly trying to get through each day as if it’s some grueling ritual. But when you realize your days are limited; each day is a new experience, each moment a treasure. You value the people in your life more. A hug goes from a quick touch to a lasting embrace.
In a world where everything is instant and rapid and moving at the speed of light, we forget to slow down. To smell the roses and taste the champagne.
As I voyeured into this elderly man’s world, admiring him, I realized how much I’ve forgotten to slow down. I’ve been so consumed by my own goals of success that I started to alienate some great friends…simply because our lives were no longer convenient for each other. Where in the blink of an eye, best friends become strangers, people you knew are now people you used to know, and peers became enemies.
Just slow down…at least some of the time.
People think they’re losing time and try to move faster and faster, but you don’t lose time by speeding it up. You lose time when you don’t experience it.