My sons often compliment me. Here is the most recent compliment. One of my sons was driving somewhere and he was in a hurry. He had to buy some fish and he was afraid he was going to be late getting back home. He was rushing around, driving recklessly. Then he remembered something I told him long ago. It is not that unusual a saying -- nothing matters that much -- but I made a game of it & he remembered the funny game.
Long ago I told him that on my tombstone I wanted that line to be engraved four times. The first time, the emphasis would be on the first word which would be in big bold letters: NOTHING matters that much.
In the second line, the second word would be in big bold letters; Nothing MATTERS that much. The third line would have the third word in big bold letters: Nothing matters THAT much. And the fourth line would have the fourth word in big bold letters: Nothing matters that MUCH!
He remembered my humorous way of playing with those words. He chanted the line to himself -- Nothing matters that much -- and he drove more slowly. After all, what’s the big deal? He was going to go get some salmon, he was going to be all of two minutes late.
Slow down, nothing matters that much, is a good piece of advice. It is advice I have often given to others, but as we all know, we often are very good at giving others advice, but we are very bad at following the advice that we give to others. As some wit said -- “I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with good advice.” Or he was not about to follow the advice, but he would be happy to pass it on.
As my wife pointed out, I don’t follow my own advice. I am often in a hurry, rushing-driving recklessly.
I even have a second tale to tell about rushing around, driving recklessly. Some good ole Southern boys were driving around, showing their territory to Indians from the country of India. They loved racing around at break neck speed. They were approaching a railroad crossing and the train was coming, bells clanking, warning everyone to stop. The good old boys told the Indians to hang on, they would beat the train across the track, save a few minutes. The Indians were frightened out of their minds as the car raced and barely beat the train to the crossing.
The good ole boy turned around and said: See, we saved a few minutes, and one Indian asked quietly, “and what are you going to do with those minutes?’
Wise words that I often pass on to others. It is hard for me to follow my own advice. I am a man who is almost always in a hurry. I don’t condone my behavior; I don’t defend my behavior. In fact I believe, as another man said, that no civilized person is in a hurry. I am always in a hurry & I fear that I am less than fully civilized.