15 minute Honor Those Before Us, Respect Those With Us

We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference.  Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.

Today is a day that always makes me think of so many things.  We are blessed to have so much freedom (freedom of speech for example, thank you very much), freedom to choose and freedom to live free.  It’s hard for me to grasp the full picture of what that really means.  But when I look at the people I know and love, I begin to understand their story and it helps me to understand the impact their choices, their decisions and their lives have had on me.  Here is what I’ve learned about celebrating Memorial Day:

Half-staff-etiquette-for-memorial-day

Be thankful for what you have. I know I forget how blessed I am on a regular basis.  And then I see my friend who’s talking about just being able to hear her husband’s voice.  See, he serves in the Armed Forces and she doesn’t get to see him as often as she’d like because his job calls him away, far away to other places. It’s the little things I notice, the phone call she’s excited to get, the countdown until he returns home, the double-time she does for her kids when she’s alone. And then it hits me again, I’ve got mad respect for her and I’m reminded of all of the little, important things that I shouldn’t take for granted.

Say thanks. My dad is a veteran and he loves to tell stories about his time in the Navy.  He talks about the food and how terrible it was to eat the same 10 things for weeks at a time.  He talks about his travels and how he’s seen the world.  And he talks to every veteran he sees, the share stories and my dad thanks them for their service. It only takes 15 seconds to say “Thanks” and you can have a nice, meaningful conversation in about 15 minutes.  What seems to be most important is the lesson that we can learn from others; step out of your comfort zone and ask questions, listen and say “Thanks” in a meaningful way.

1memorialday2013

Teach Kids to Honor. My kids are at a really fun age right now.  They’re interested in everything and they’re excited to learn everything about everything.  This Memorial Day, we’ll be spending time talking about what it really means and why it matters for them to understand everything that has come before them to give them exactly what they have right now. I know they’ll remember it and put it into practice.  The conversation will take what? 15 minutes–and it will make a difference for the rest of their lives.

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