Stop Watch

photo: casey.marshall

Just 5 more minutes.  I hear that same old phrase being used over and over again.  It’s mostly said when someone wants to finish up something before rushing off to do something else.  Sometimes these words have been heard from my own mouth.  Do you have 5 minutes to spare?  Whether you’re unemployed, underemployed or employed everybody has at least 5 minutes to spare.  I think 5 minutes can change somebody’s life.  Can 5 minutes really change somebody’s life?  I think so.  If you took 5 minutes and noticed what’s happening around you, you would see opportunities everywhere.  The other day, I was walking to the mailbox when one of the neighbor kids asked if I could help fix the chain on their bicycle.  I didn’t really want to look at it, but his Dad wasn’t around, so I thought to myself that it’s only going to take a few minutes.  So, I told him I would take a look at it.  I had done this procedure hundreds of times before as a kid, so it was really no big deal.  It took maybe two minutes to get the chain back on the sprockets.  It took an extra minute because I had to find a screwdriver to loosen the chain guard.  While I was fixing the chain, the child asked if I could pump up the tire on his bike too.  I thought, “what the heck I have a few minutes left.”  So I got the pump out of my car, plugged it in and a few minutes later the tires were pumped up.  He was very grateful and said thank you for fixing his bike.   Seeing the joy on his face as he rode away on his bike made it all worth while.

I don’t know if this changed his life, but by taking 5 minutes out of my life to help him, I showed him that I cared.  That he is worth helping.  Hopefully, he does the same some day when he grows up.

How can 5 minutes change somebody’s life?  Maybe random acts of kindness will set them on the right path.  Maybe just 5 minutes will send a message that they are valuable to someone.  While writing this post, I started thinking about my own family.  How can 5 minutes make a difference to my spouse?

Here are a few ways you can spend 5 minutes:

  • Take out the trash & recycle bin
  • Vacuum / Sweep the floors
  • Wash a load of clothes
  • Fold the towels
  • Set the table for a meal
  • Clear the table after a meal
  • Make coffee
  • Listen to how their day has been
  • Fill up their car with gas

I’m sure there are more ways you can spend 5 minutes to show you value someone else.  Any suggestions?