"The Longest Minute "

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The Longest Minute

By Seth John Batiste


The longest minute made time stand still. It stood up on my window screen. I watched it stare aimlessly back at me in my darkest struggle… a thought from just beyond came to me. After all, time is something I have, seemingly more personable each passing second.

Like an eagle, I see its protective nature guarding, being proud.

The longest minutes are indeed long, but not necessarily complete. They have a start, but not altogether a finish. An imagination, but no mind.

Take a drink with me and you will see.

The minute that keeps a toll of laughter, testing patience and keeping watch.

How time flies, yet stands motionless when you are in the presence of the longest minute of your life…wherever you may be. For it is then, when this significant other comes alive and shares an important moment or event with you.

Soldiers have been known to bond with it. Presidents have sworn by it. And teachers need more of it. This untouchable, irrevocable, precious unit.

Come a minute. Stay a minute. Love a minute. Share a minute. Be nice every minute. “Let's roll” a minute!

Get up from your chair a minute. Talk to your spouse a minute. Teach a minute. Listen a minute. Respect a minute. Dignify a minute. Cherish a minute. Give a minute. Receive a minute. Then, be patient a minute.

Never hate a minute, lie to a minute or cheat a minute for time is temperamental. What you've lost, you never get back. Just ask my cousin Clyde who dared to dream a minute…a minute too late.

My dear friend, for in the next moment that I see you, I should hope that to these things you have given much thought. For a minute is but a unit of measurement. It is one of the greater in that when you learn to cherish one, you learn to cherish all…

And like the eagle, it is an endangered species. All too often, we let one pass without savoring it. What will you do with your longest minute? The minute that chooses you, that keeps you, that waits for you.

Mr. Abner of Fifth Ward had a minute to spare. He spent it helping high school students read and write. His minute was shorter than most, but long in other ways. And Mr. Baxter had a minute to teach young African-American youth lessons in “winning the game” at their neighborhood basketball camp.

You see, the minute we hope for is as the road in a wood. It can be stumbled upon by a stranger or paved by those with great hearts!