compassion

Time

by Larry Hehn on August 3, 2015

timeA few nights ago my wife and I, looking for a break from a busy week, decided to crash on the sofa and watch a movie. After flipping through the Netflix directory for several minutes and failing to find anything that excited the two of us, we settled for the 1996 John Travolta/Christian Slater flick Broken Arrow.

As reviewer Don Kaye describes it, Broken Arrow “delivers a number of exciting action sequences but is let down by a credibility-straining plot.”

While it wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen (that distinction belongs to 1984’s Night Patrol), it was far from the best. As the credits started to roll I turned to my wife and said, “Well, that’s 109 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.”

When it comes to time and what we do with it, I’ve determined we have three options:

  1. Waste it. When my time is “wasted”, it’s used up in pursuits that don’t generate anything of value for me or anyone else. Things like worrying. Mindless entertainment. Looking for ways to be offended. Plotting revenge. Posting angry rants. Reading angry rants. People magazine. Night Patrol.
  2. Spend it. When my time is “spent”, it’s used up in pursuits that may be worthwhile, may be necessary, but offer little long term impact on me or those around me. Things like sleeping. Eating. Making the bed. Mowing the lawn. Shaving. Ok, the necessity of shaving is debatable…
  3. Invest it. When my time is invested, it generates a return not just for myself, but for others. Things like praying. Visiting the sick and lonely. Making meals for those who don’t have the time or means. Learning a new skill with practical applications. Teaching someone a new skill. Offering sincere hope and encouragement. Seeking and pointing out the good. Mending fences. Seeking reconciliation. Choosing not to be offended.

The next 24 hours are going to go by anyway. With those three options before me, the hope for a positive legacy lies in how much I focus on category 3. What I do with my time is entirely up to me.

Who or what will you invest your time in today?

What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

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Do you hear what I hear?

by Larry Hehn on June 15, 2014

grandfather clockMy sister-in-law and her family own a grandfather clock. Its Westminster chimes sound each quarter hour. The soothing tones echo through the spacious foyer and fill the house.

But without my hearing aid, I can’t hear them.

There are certain frequencies I simply cannot, and do not, hear without the aid of technology.

Before I was equipped with a hearing aid, you would have been hard pressed to convince me chimes were coming from that clock every fifteen minutes.

No matter how well you described them or related your experience of hearing them to me, I would swear you were nuts. Clearly, from my perspective, the only sound coming from the clock was a steady tick, tock, tick, tock.

Which one of us would be “right”?

After all these years I’ve finally started to figure out – that’s the wrong question.

Empathy has never been my strong suit. I have trouble seeing and hearing things through a set of eyes and ears other than my own.

But I’m learning.

I’ve always placed high value on being right. It’s just how I’m wired. After reading Integrity by Henry Cloud (a highly recommended read, by the way), and not hearing the Westminster chimes one night, it dawned on me that I and those around me could benefit from me dialing that down.

As Cloud describes it, “Being right is not [an empathetic person’s] highest value. Understanding and connecting with others is.”

Let me tell you, I’d much rather have my tombstone read “He understood and connected with others” than “He always had to be right”. The former sure is a lot more Christ-like.

So, do you hear what I hear?

“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.” – C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew

“To empathize and validate what someone is experiencing does not mean that you always agree or even think the other person is right. It just means that you see it as valid in that it is really their experience, and true for that person, and you show them that you understand what they are thinking and feeling.” – Dr. Henry Cloud, Integrity

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2013 Beard of the Year – Cast your vote!

by Larry Hehn on January 6, 2014

Beard of the YearWho knew that something as simple as growing a beard could be so much fun, and benefit so many good causes?

A little less than a year ago, inspired by The Bearded Idealist‘s 2012 Beard of the Year competition and a challenge from some friends and family, I started growing my beard.

Along the way, my beard has helped DJ and Courtney Hofmann raise funds to finance an international adoption. It helped me portray some members of the Duck Dynasty clan for special church announcements. And it turned me into a really sweet looking shepherd for our Christmas Eve pageant.

I even had the honor of being named Beard of the Month for November 2013!

And now, along with 11 other awesome bearded gents, I’m in the running for 2013 Beard of the Year!

Here’s the part where we get to work together and have some fun:

The Beard of the Year competition benefits an organization called Live58, which is working to help free victims of human trafficking around the world. The winning beard will be the one that raises the highest amount of donations toward the cause.

The competition is only open until the end of the day Tuesday January 7, so there’s no time to wait! To see all the beards in the competition, click here. Once there, I’d be very pleased if you would scroll down to the November 2013 Beard of the Month and click it to cast your vote.

It’s not every day you get to determine a Beard of the Year and help out a very worthy cause at the same time. Please take advantage and show your support.

If you wish to save some time, click here to go straight to the Team Larry – Beard of the Year 2013 support page.

On behalf of Live58 and Stephen Haggerty, The Bearded Idealist himself, thank you for your support!

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