Money is not the only thing equivalent to time. When you see a happy couple together that appear to be in their fifties or sixties, what do you notice? I know I see the woman's smile, the way her sun reflects in her hair as she strolls the park arm-in-arm with her lover, the way the husband gazes at her, completely engrossed in her, oblivious to the hundreds of people around them: two people content to feed the ducks and spend away the day together.
Love is time. Time is love. These two simple phrases probably could save numerous people aggravation and grief if they only knew that they equaled each other.
Think of a time you were in the grocery store. Just recently, I saw a mother chatting away on her Blackberry hands-free device while she pushed her cart. Dangling from the edges of the rails were two children, about five and seven in age, a boy and girl.
"No, I already told you, Stephen, we have to make the deal tomorrow. We wait one more day and they'll pull the offer off the table," I heard her say, her voice piquing slightly. Her kids pounced in cat-like fashion from the sides of the cart, their hands clinging frantically to Fruit Loops, Milky Ways, and PopTarts; anything that they could get their paws on, they would bring to the cart, screaming, "Mom, I want this!" When she didn't respond, it became, "I WANT THISSSS!!!!!!"
Unable to speak over the high pitched wails from her offspring, the women said frantically, "Fine!" and returned to her conversation as her children poured copious amounts of junk into her cart.
I watched, somewhat in shock, a bit of me in disgust. And although it was but a glimpse of their life and it was only for a few seconds, it was the opportune example to use. (Let me preface this with, I can't imagine being a parent attempting to juggle everything, and I know sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. ). This mother, so preoccupied with her job, apparently her top priority based off of the scene in the grocery store, attempted to fill the void of spending time with her children by buying them anything they wanted - by the time she and the munchkins reached the cash register, on child pulled a sled and the other had a teddy bear in one hand while eating a King Kit-Kat bar. Perhaps she spent plenty of time with her kids at home, I would not know. But I know parents who don't...
All I could picture was these two children growing up, the little girl becoming upset when her husband, who supposedly loves her, only gets her a half-carat sapphire ring when she really wanted the two carat diamond ring. And the boy, he would buy his wife everything she ever wanted, take her on his business trips, and yet not spend an ounce of time with her...
Time is love. Love is time. Please, if you love someone, whether it is your children, your spouse, your boyfriend, your parents, or even your dog, spend time with them. "I love you" only goes so far. Love is not only a noun, but a verb. And the best way to make someone feel love is to show it, even through small acts of time. Those moments you spend lying on the couch, laughing away rainy Sundays, or the time you spend walking the duck pond hand-in-hand, those are the moments that mean the most. Yes, those flowers you buy her or that new television you get him is nice and probably greatly appreciated, but time... time cannot be bought, and that is what makes it the most precious, valuable gift one could ever receive.
Ralph Waldo Emerson put it beautifully..."The only true gift is a portion of yourself."
Get out there and love someone.