Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Finding Meaning in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

5 seconds. Each story can be summarized in 5 seconds. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. In the interest of time, I have written out an OFFICIAL example. “Jordyn and Abby were being annoying. I was trying to work on writing Star scripts. I threw a Rushville FFA plush owl at Jordyn. Point: Don’t be annoying.” (Picture of Jordyn slapping said owl like a maniac). While this mayyyyy be an exaggeration, I’ve learned over these past two weeks that quite literally everything can be summed up in 5 seconds. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a virtual training with Mr. Jason Wetzler: a past National Officer from Oregan and an iconic inspirational speaker and motivator. Over our Zoom call, we talked about telling stories. Now, I’ve always struggled with finding stories to tell. Nothing in my life has seemed that interesting or exciting. Except the time my brothers earnotched me like a pig :).  But, Jason argued that every single day has a story to tell. Every single day has a 5 second moment that we can learn from. Being quite competitive, I took that as a challenge. I was going to find meaning in those meaningless 5 seconds that he was talking about. And so I began to make a 5 second journal entry every single day. 

Entry 1: “Pop (my dad) didn’t realize that I wasn’t home until noon. I guess the world does not revolve around me *eyeroll*”

Entry 2: “Mommom (grandmother) and Kristen were surprised by the number of people texting them about Daddo (grandfather). There are more people in our corners than we believe.”

Entry 3: “When a person dies, hundreds go to their visitation. It is so important to cherish the relationships in life.”

On Wednesday, March 30th 2022, my grandfather lost his fight with Leukemia. It wasn’t until his funeral that I truly realized what Jason Wetzler had been talking about. Because no matter who I was speaking to or what we were talking about, it all came back to “your grandfather was a lifelong educator.” His entire life summed up in 5 seconds. All 47 years of his teaching and all 79 years of his life, summed up in 5 seconds. 

And I understand that thinking about our life in 5 seconds can be scary. So don’t think about it. Easy. But ask yourself, “Am I appreciating the 86,400 seconds in every single day?” The answer, I would assume, is no. But I am confident that at least 5 seconds of that day had something worth remembering. So I challenge you to think about the meaningless moments: the time you are just chilling on the couch, when you are working, hanging out with your family, grocery shopping. These are the moments that you would normally forget. But it is these moments that have the most potential for meaning. Because every single thing we do has a story and a lesson. To find real meaning in your life, appreciate what seems meaningless. Find Meaning in the 5 Seconds. 

Finding Meaning,

Nicholas Neuman

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