I listened to Kanye West’s new song only once the day that he released it on Soundcloud. The internets are full of hype, talk, hate, and opinions; I didn’t want mine to be swayed by what others had to say. I thought it was dope. Four days later, I found myself listening to it repeatedly after dropping my father off at the airport. I thought a lot about time and it’s value.
To be frank, the phrase “I’m too busy” is bullshit. That’s for people who don’t manage theirs well. By nature, I’m terrible with it. I will schedule a day down to the tee, keeping in mind all of the things that I need to and will accomplish, and then life happens. As a result, I would say that I complete somewhere between 50-60% of my mental lists. I consider that to be pretty successful, being that I start the day thinking to myself that about half of things won’t get done due to variables mostly out of my control. I also love to work under pressure. So while one may think that the sentences that followed the first two are a contradiction; I never say that I’m too busy.
Very rarely do I not return calls, answer texts, or flake out on people. If someone took the time to think of me to reach out for whatever the reason, the least that I can do is see what they want or reply. Sure some people and other aspects of my life are higher on the priority list; but if time is the only thing that we can’t get back, then each moment I give to someone-or they give to me-is an investment.
I think about all of the times while I was in college that I was broke and I would ask my father for money for whatever the reason was. Every once in a while, he would give me a breakdown of what he had to do for that hundred dollars or rent money or whatever. The money was never important; it was the time. I have found myself unintentionally doing the same thing. The effort behind the time is money. Some may find me-or whoever-telling them “I worked for xyandz hours to help you out,” or “It took me two weeks to write this,” etc. as throwing what someone has done in their face and as a means of guilt tripping because people feel as if they are owed something. No. People say “I love you” and “I care” in their own ways. The best thing we can do is shut the fuck up and appreciate the investment…or verbally acknowledge, or reciprocate, or pay it forward.
For the most part, I don’t think that people show reciprocity directly to those that show us love. Thinking about three of the closest friends I have had in my adult life, I could never repay them for how they have held me down. Hell, two of them I can’t, because they’re no longer with us. My boy Donnell showed me that there’s no such thing as going through something by yourself. You’re never too stressed out to be there for your friends and once you’re finished venting, you’re never too stressed out to laugh and talk a little shit. Because of him, my phone line is always open, no matter what time you call. Timile taught me what unconditional love was in a way that my parents nor that being a parent ever could. She inadvertently showed me that the person who looks past the surface, wins. I know they-and my man Kofi who is living-would tell me to not worry about returning the investment; but to treat others the way that they have to me.
Even the wastes of time or when you wind up having to cute your losses was an investment. Come to think of it, I think that all that karma is: somewhere between the universe and giving us an equal ROI in the form of someone else paying it forward.