As we spoke, we uncovered the real questions. How does one measure efforts directed toward a goal? How many hours does it take to change attitudes and behaviors? How do we prove what has been prevented in terms of destructive behaviors decreased, eliminated, never begun? Does a chance encounter in the grocery store with a former client who enthusiastically describes her new life and her joy tie back into our fundraising efforts? Does an informal or spontaneous endorsement from a colleague or city council member reflect the many hours of relationship building to arrive at this place of ease and understanding? And does all of that bring in the contributions? How does one justify time spent visioning the future and talking about it before ever designing projects to get there? How does one measure the worth of efforts to create a more just and equitable community? To inform, to teach, to listen, to encourage, to meet a need?
525,600 minutes. How do you measure a year in a life? -from “Rent, A Musical,” Seasons of Love
As 2012 draws to a close, our allotment of 525,600 minutes is dwindling. And on January 1, 2013, we will receive a New Year’s gift: 525,600 new and shiny minutes. Looking back over 2012 we might consider how many of our allotted minutes were dedicated to enhancing our seasons of love. How many minutes were spent in suffering? Some of us lost loved ones in 2012; others are dealing with our own health challenges or our limited life span. Some of us welcomed new babies, began new jobs, moved to a different home, graduated, got married. Some made extensive plans, some carried through on those plans, some continue to explore and elaborate. Some of us spent a lot of minutes in loneliness or regret; for some, minutes are consumed by resentments. How many minutes are spent in gratitude? In expectancy? In love?
525,600 minutes. How do you measure the minutes in your life?