the moment thief

“Suspect each moment, for it is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings.”

John Updike (a month of Sundays)

While I love the thought behind this quote I probably love the way it is written even more. The ability to string together these words, the imagination to do so, the sheer understanding of life to be able to write this astounds me.

We have all seen quotes talking about treasuring the moment.

Live in the now. Seize the moment. All that stuff. Good stuff.

But sometimes while short pithy direct sayings are effective there are times when you can use words in such a way that creates an image. Tie an emotional energy to the thought.

(people who know me are now awaiting my Clotaire Rappaile reference to the fact that “emotion is the energy to cause action” … oops … said it.)

But Updike reminds us in a singular way that each moment, if you do not pay attention, steals the memory of it to be forever lost.

Time is a disposable product.

It’s kind of like a cruise ship leaving port with empty berths.

A plane taking off with empty seats.

A hotel at night with empty beds.

Its lost revenue.

Its lost opportunity.

When it’s gone it’s gone.

It’s not like on the next cruise the cruise line can cram in an extra person into each cabin and regain the opportunity.

Stolen moments are exactly the same.

Once gone they cannot be regained.

My business analogies are an attempt to show how moments almost always take away more than they bring. Sure.

Planes leave with a full load on occasion. But that is some fraction of a 100% of all “flight moments.”

All one can do is attempt to maximize moments and not regret that a moment left with some “open seats” as you look back.

On the other hand.

Moments are like thieves.

And you can protect moments from stealing things from you.

You can protect yourself from having something important stolen.

An opportunity. A memory. A moment within a moment maybe.

I guess in the end what I like about this quote is the fact that none of us like to have our things stolen.

And think about how you would feel if someone stole the most valuable thing you own or have (this is the infamous “what is the one thing you would grab if your house was on fire).

Well. There is a thief. And that thief steals time if you let your guard down.

That is why I like this quote.

Written by Bruce