The Broadway musical and movie Rent starts with the musical number titled “Seasons of Love.” The song highlights the fact that there are 525,600 minutes in a year. With unbelievable beauty in words and music, the song drives home the point that each of those minutes is an opportunity to fill our lives and our community with love. We can look back and reflect over a week, a month or a year and try to determine what we have accomplished or need to improve. But the song tells me that I should consider smaller time frames. I should seek to use every minute to exhibit love for others, and that means doing the right things for my family and for others. Every minute offers a new opportunity to make a difference – a new season of love.
Folk singer/songwriter David Roth has a poignant song entitled “Before I Die.” In the song, he states “before I die I want to be the richest man in history.” But his definition of riches is “a wealth of friends [and] abundant love that never ends.” What a cool description of riches! To measure one’s wealth in friendships and abundant love is indeed a wonderful measure of life.
If we tie these two songs together, the message is clear, in every minute of the day (525,600 such minutes in a year), we have the opportunity to develop friendships, nurture friendships, help others, improve our lives, and improve our community. These opportunities can make us exceedingly wealthy if we try.
So all of the above discussion forces us to consider the issue of wealth. Our American culture tends equate wealth with masses of riches—money and property and cars and goods. Far too many people that have this type of wealth fail to place their priorities on service to others. True to the age-old adage that money doesn’t buy happiness, we need to look for an alternative meaning.
I prefer to think of the wealth in terms of human interaction—partners, family, friendships, fellow citizens and our communities. It is the expressions of love (caring, empathy, humility, sincerity, vulnerability, compassion) that provide meaning to our lives and the life of our communities. It is the expressions of love that can lead to change that will positively impact us all.
The Take Home Message – Abundant friends and love can make us “wealthy” and our lives fulfilled if we consider each minute (all 525,600 of them) in a year a chance to exhibit a season of love. Our community will be equally wealthy and improved.