As a kid I remember the adults in my life telling me how quickly life goes and how I should truly enjoy every minute. Like most kids, I shook my head and put that advice somewhere in the back of my mind.
Then when I was in my twenties I was buying a car and I struck up an unlikely conversation with the car salesman. I remember like it was yesterday. His name was Mohammed. He was about forty years old and I could tell that he was a very kind soul. He proceeded to tell me this story:
“You are young but remember life goes so fast. My uncle told me when I was a boy that in 10 minutes I would be 20 years old and in 20 minutes I would be 30 years old. Before I would even realize it, an hour will pass and I would be an old man. Here I am looking back and I wish I listened to him. I am telling you this so that you spend that hour wisely.”
Needless to say, I bought the car but that innocent conversation, stayed with me for all these years.
When he told me that very story it was over twenty years ago but it seems like yesterday. How right he and his uncle were.
I try to instill in my kids the same message but words really only go so far. When I give them little nuggets of advice they half listen, nod and probably push it aside like I did as a kid. What I have learned most from Mohammed is that we have to live the advice we give.
I now play with my kids because the dishes can wait. I put my phone down and listen with both ears. I take the time to hear strangers laugh and to see kids playing. I experience it all deep within my heart. Even on the toughest days there is so much to treasure. Whether a minute, an hour or fifty years, it is all a gift.
“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.” ― Marjorie Pay Hinckley
Be present. Enjoy your moments. Relish in it all.
Originally published at medium.com