A STORY FOR THE NEW YEAR
‘My mother told me that when her parents were married – my grandparents – one of the gifts they got was a beautiful bedspread,’ recalled Nell Minow, the wonderful corporate responsibility guru and movie critic, to a group of us this past weekend.
Apparently, it was a really exquisite gift – so much so that they decided not to take it out of its packaging, but rather wait for a really special occasion.
Well, the children were born and there were holidays and anniversaries . . . we won World War II . . . and yet somehow, the time never exactly seemed right.
‘And then,’ Nell’s mother told her, ‘your grandfather died.’
Long, wistful pause.
‘And my mother took the bedspread’ – [here I expected her to say something about draping the casket] – ‘and took it back to Marshall Field, unopened after all those years, and got a refund.’
‘Do you see what I’m trying to tell you, Nell?’
‘Yes, Mom,’ Nell replied. ‘I think I do. Live for today. Make every moment count. Don’t let life pass you by . . .’
‘Oh,’ replied her mother, thrown slightly off center. ‘Well, yes. I suppose that, too. But the point I wanted to make . . . always deal with a reputable retailer.‘
(Nell tells it better, but I did my best.)
If you have time for fooling around, here is the New York Times 27-question 2004 Trivia Quiz. I don’t have time for fooling around, but couldn’t resist. I got 18 right, putting me at the top of the ‘well-informed’ range, just below ‘suspiciously well-informed’ and safely short of (23 or more) ‘get a life.’
Tomorrow: A word – but just a word – about the horrendous devastation abroad . . . and supervolcanic reasons to enjoy that bedspread now, while you can (and one very large rock in the Canary Islands)
Quote of the Day
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.'~Martin Luther King, Jr.
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