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Barry Crimmins

words to live near


Lloyd The Dog

Do Think Twice Monday, August 20, 2007

Do Think Twice

What are you going to do with it?

This morning I was going to write something about Rudolf Giuliani. Then Lloyd came over and curled up on my feet. On a normal day I'd have petted him for a moment and then moved along to my work. This morning I let him warm my feet for as long as he chose. He drifted off to sleep and I was afforded the luxury of his intimate company and love. I got to thinking about what a gift my friend Lloyd has been. Even though he'll only be nine on Thursday, he has made every minute count for him, for Karen, for me.

I thought about how I had to fight my impatience for him to become the Miracle Dog! who beat cancer. I thought about how, if things go the wrong way, the few leaves that have already betrayed us will be harbingers of bleak days to come.

And then I got out of my own way and began to live again in the wondrous moment, with this beautiful boy who had decided that there was nothing more comfortable in the world than my feet. It humbled and overjoyed me. I began to think about....


It is the most precious commodity of all because without it, none of the others matter. The clock on the wall ticks during every living thing's life and how we utilize our ticks can either demonstrate respect or disrespect for the value of time to all God's creatures.

Americans' selfish consumption of so many things serves to reduce the number of ticks many living things receive.

We eat fast food that is meant as a convenience but that ravages our collective health and savages the environment as we sacrifice entire ecosystems so that we can eat the wrong food sooner.

We consume bowlderized versions of the "news" that omit inconvenient details that might force us to use our ]time exercising our consciences.

We employ countless "time-saving" devices that consume energy when we could expend some partaking in much needed physical activity, extending our own time in the process.

We raise our children on grids, speeding them past childhoods that become nothing more than sanctioned, supervised blurs.

We buy into quick fixes for complex problems in our neighborhoods. No need to look into our difficulties' economic and sociological roots when we can buy a firearm and use it as a peacekeeper. And when that's not enough, we buy into a program of ethnic and economic cleansing that handles the challenges of poor communities by rounding up and jailing people on a scale that dwarfs that of any other nation in the world. Why waste time thinking when you can throw away the key?

And when throwing keys doesn't seem to be working, we throw switches on electric chairs and levers on tubes that open the flow of lethal injections. And then we clap ourselves on the back and say "it's high time for that."

If we are bosses, we speed profits to the bottom line by devaluing the ticks on the clock for the workers whose lives we look upon as nothing more than commodities to exploit.

We spend our spare time watching vapid, voyeuristic entertainment that is sponsored by all of the forces that work together to turn our lives into complete wastes of time.

We never walk when we can ride. We never ride together, when we can drive alone. Who has time to find a parking spot near the train?

When we run low on vehicle propellent, we end time for tens of thousands of people, some of them our very own, in a futile and foolhardy attempt to avoid looking at a future that is inevitable as time itself.

In the end, we waste almost all of the time we save at such horrid cost to others. We lose contact with our most important family member, Mother Earth. We become sad, distracted and deluded wastes of all those ticks of that clock on that wall. In a mad dash to nothingness, we miss our very lives.

Time is of the essence, even when we are ignoring it, especially when we are ignoring it. Too soon, we are wondering where it all goes.

I'll tell you where it goes. It goes where we put it. It adds up; into cumulative good and hope or collective waste and shame. Do me a favor, stop wasting time. Endeavor to face and live life in real terms. I'll try to do the same.

Now I have to get up on my warm feet and go for a walk with my best friend.