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Tim Russert: Wisdom at Starbucks

Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, August 14, 2008
9:06 pm

I noticed the following statement by Tim Russert on my colleague’s Starbucks cup this morning:

“You can shower a child with presents or money, but what do they really mean, compared to the most valuable gift of all – your time? Vacations and special events are nice, but so often the best moments are spontaneous ones. Being there. Every moment you spend with your child could be the one that really matters.”

— Tim Russert, former host of NBC’s Meet the Press and author of Wisdom of our Fathers.

The great irony of this thoughtful perspective is that Tim Russert didn’t realize when he penned such sage advice that his time would run out early. His untimely death at the age of 58 should remind us all that time with our children is precious – really precious – and that life is ever so fragile.

I find this particularly poignant as I pen this post from a hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, over 1,800 miles from home. I did talk to my 14-year old daughter on the phone today and exchanged some text messages with her. But it’s not quite like being there.

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3 Responses to “Tim Russert: Wisdom at Starbucks”

    Thank You!! – This helps validate my same feelings as I am continuously on the road.

    Comment by Martin on August 15, 2008 at 4:25 am

    So true! After several years of reduced travel, a new job has placed me back on the road constantly.

    This week I’ve missed my kids first week back at school. The end of summer vacation isn’t their most favorite time so there’s always some angst and stress surrounding getting back into the routine of getting ready for school each morning and juggling homework with after-school activities. Some might be grateful for missing what is usually a stressful time but it also means I wasn’t there to provide support.

    I try to tell myself I’m doing this so I can provide them more opportunities for enriching their lives, not materially but through travel and special events as mentioned in the Russert quote. But his comment brings home the fact that, not only do I need to question whether I really should keep doing this and missing out because I’m not home but I should also wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed to spend more personal time with my children even when I wasn’t traveling as much.

    The poignancy of your post and the reminder that life is ever so fragile is particularly significant to me on this day of all days, since I lost my nephew in a tragic accident five years ago today. I can’t help but look back with regret at the opportunities I missed to share more time with him during the all too brief moment he was with us.

    I’ll be on my way home in a few hours and you can bet I’ll be hugging my kids as soon as I walk in the door!

    Comment by Gordon on August 15, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Martin, Gordon:

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your feelings! I’m in the Atlanta airport getting ready to head for home!


    Comment by Mark Dixon on August 15, 2008 at 1:07 pm

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