Pep Talk: “These Precarious Times”

April 2, 2017

At almost 59, with a younger brother and older sister already grandparents, there’s an ever-increasing amount of queries like, “Hey ol’ man, you got any grandkids?”
Negative. However, through A Stronger Cord’s work with the Denver Dream Center, your knucklehead scribe has “Grandpa” chances. Denver has too many kids (it’s not alone) without positive adult male mentors. Conversely, kiddos have gangs showing them a lot of attention. Denver Dream Center believes the same. It’s a blessing to work together on Adopt A Block Saturdays. Just my opinion, but kids living in vulnerable areas? Give them more music, sports and arts! Let’s give gangs more competition for the kids’ attention. 
I know, easy to talk about, far more difficult to execute. Here’s an idea, with a little history to substantiate, to reach kids in healthy and productive fashion by investing more time and less money. Could it be that time, not cash, is the true treasure?
Long ago a fiery volunteer coach always found time for this aspiring jock and other sports-loving kids in Raytown, Missouri. Today, he’s still going strong and likes to email. In a recent one, Al Maddox shared the last wishes of Alexander the Great, esteemed warrior and king. They focused on time. Here ya go:
On his death bed, Alexander summoned his generals and shared three wishes:
  • The best doctors carry his coffin …
  • Accumulated wealth (money, gold, precious stones) be scattered
  • Hands be loose and hang outside the coffin for all to see
These unusual requests surprised a military subordinate who asked for clarity. The dude who learned from Aristotle, responded: 
  • “I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal ..”
  • “I want the road to be covered with my treasure so that everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth, will stay on earth..”
  • “I want my hands to swing in the wind, so that people understand that we arrive empty-handed and depart the same after the most precious treasure is exhausted: TIME.
We do not take to our grave any material wealth. TIME is our most precious treasure because it is LIMITED. We can produce more wealth, but we cannot produce more time. When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never take back. Our time is our life!”
Thanks to Al’s email, I know Alexander closed with: “The best present to family and friends is TIME. May God grant you plenty of it to share with all.” Amen, buddy. From Wikipedia, it’s discovered Alexander never lost a battle and is considered one of history’s greatest military commanders. 
Could it be, when it comes to seizing our kids’ attention or other societal challenges, America’s underachieving against a formidable foe? Our wayward thinking? Let’s correct it by heeding advice from a man considered one of the most influential humans ever. Alexander says our most precious resource is time. In these precarious times, let’s share more of it. Volunteer!

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