Michael John Sullivan: Ten seconds can last a lifetime

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MichaelIt’s amazing how a small amount of time can change the way you look at life.

I spent much of Sunday embedded with financial worries, zapping my brain with fears of getting sick, burdening my heart with concerns I would never be able to make a living in the world of publishing and exhausted from overwhelming my mind with the most inconsequential anxieties one can build and topple one’s soul.

By the time I finished watching the Disney movie about Alexander and his very horrible day or whatever the long title was, I needed to take a breather. So I sat down on a metal bench under a sign that showed Regal Cinema had hearing devices for those in need.

How ironic indeed.

The devices to hear should have included common sense to see for me on this day.

I fumbled around on my “smart” phone for several minutes, wondering at first why I was even curious what was going on in the world of Facebook chaos. The usual political rants, absurd videos and human car wrecks filled the newsfeed again on this cold Long Island afternoon.

I shook my head a lot, so much so I closed up my application and watched as people strolled past me. A little boy being pushed in a unique walking device immediately caught my eye. It was made of thin metal and he stood inside it, its four wheels rolled as his mother pushed him down the long lobby toward the door. He was surrounded by several of his little friends.

As he was wheeled by, I noticed his slightly limp legs, his feet barely touching the floor. I wondered at that moment if he could even walk. I began to swell up in pity and empathy, sad at his plight.

Well, did this little guy show me!

He was about twenty yards from the door when he turned his head and looked at his mother. She moved away and put her hands up in the air. He had the biggest smile you’d ever see as someone opened the first door leading toward the ticket windows. His toes first scraped the floor and then the feet touched down like he was a spaceship landing on the moon. He gathered up enough energy and raced through the door ahead of his friends, laughing.

I stood up at this point to see what he would do next. He raced toward the door that led outside past the remaining friends and out the door, lifting his arms into the air in triumph.

I cheered silently for fear the many people in the theater area might think I’m crazy.

But, here at this moment, the little boy taught me another lesson.

Not only did this courageous little man teach me that pity is best served for those in need and not for him, he gave me a reason to never worry about what people think about you.

He educated me with life’s simple message – live it like it’s your last moment.

It took probably no longer than ten seconds for me to witness this amazing experience.

Perhaps someday I, along with many others, learn that it’s best to put away our cell phones and become a little bit smarter about life that is happening around us.

I almost missed this most thought provoking moment. It was only ten seconds. Ten seconds that will last me a lifetime.

Michael John Sullivan is a nationally bestselling author. You can learn more about him and his books at our website.

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On December 1, 2014
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One Response to Michael John Sullivan: Ten seconds can last a lifetime

  1. Wonderful piece, Michael. My Thanksgiving invocation was similar in theme. What we have is blessed, what we don’t have is of such less consequence. To be thankful for tiny miracles is to be alive. To give as much as we can to others is to revive our spirit. It really is more than words, and it does work. I don’t know why more people don’t see the value in trusting the truth of our brief time together.

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