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“The value of a moment is immeasurable. The power of just ONE moment can propel you to success and happiness or chain you to failure and misery.” 
― Steve Maraboli

Life is made of moments,  tiny little moments that make up the mosaic of our lives.  Split second decisions can make or break one’s future, life, day.    The incredible power that just 1 instant, 1 second, holds is not lost on me and yet I rush through life as if I am in a mad dash somewhere.  I am getting nowhere fast! ….and tired.

I have been trying to slow down, to stop and smell the flowers, to pay attention to details. It is hard for me to pause and take a breath.  It feels like my life is lived in a constant fast-forward mode.  Am afraid of stopping and give the impression that I am stuck in life?  After-all I live in New York, where is a sin to be stationary.

BE HERE NOW!  That has been my mantra forever, but one would never guess it, since I am everywhere, in the past and in the future, except here, except now.

What am I missing by going so fast? A lot, perhaps all!

Last evening as I left work and I am walking, or should I say, sprinting, towards Grand Central Station a man, coming out of nowhere, stopped me.  Well, wrong on both counts, he probably didn’t come out of nowhere, I was just probably not paying attention to my surroundings, and he was not successful in stopping me because I never stopped.

All I heard was someone asking for money and my immediate response: I don’t have any change, and continued walking.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ― Plato

I immediately regretted not stopping and not giving money.  I felt sad that my first instinct and response was so negative and defensive.  I stopped and turned around and by then the man had already walked away and I was left standing there alone with my guilt.  He was not stopping everyone, in fact he didn’t stop anyone, but me.  He probably thought that I would help.  He was probably embarrassed.   Right now I can think of 300 different reasons why he asked me and why he needed to ask for help in the first place.

Why did I behave like that? Why was that my first instinct? I didn’t feel threatened! It is like the words rolled out of my mouth without my permission.  Why couldn’t I stop?

What if in that one second I could have been the ray of light in somebody’s life?  What if he just needed a dollar to catch a train because he had lost his wallet or something like that?  He didn’t seem homeless, if fact he seemed well-dressed.  Why did my brain, in a fraction of second, decided for my heart that it was not worth stopping? Why did I betray myself?

“Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

I hate myself for not stopping and talking to him and giving him the money.  It is not really the money but the fact that I didn’t stop to give a second of my attention to a fellow human being.  I don’t like that!  I am not like that! And yet I let that one second run away from me and I can never get it back.  I can never make that moment right.  I am ashamed! Who am I becoming?

I wish that person knows that not all humans are devoid of care, not everyone is suspicious or just plain too busy.  I wish he knows that I prayed for him and his well being, that I care.  I prayed that the next person he spoke to did what I was unable to do: stop and listen.

I wish I could go back and change that one instant and take back those words, but I can’t.  All I can do is hope that next time my first reaction is different. I pray for less impulse and more thought, less reaction and more action.

Acknowledge the problem is the first step. Hi, I am Ana and I am

I don’t know who said it, but it is so true and worth thinking about it:

“Four things you can’t recover: 
The stone after the throw,
The word after it’s said,
The occasion after it’s missed,
The time after it’s gone.”