You may have heard the question, when is the best time to plant a tree?
The answer is ‘20 years ago’.
The second best time to plant a tree? Right now.
There is a cost to spending time doing something.
Time spent at school could have been time spent at work.
Time spent at work could have been time spent with the family.
Time spent playing sport could have been time spent studying.
Time spent learning an instrument could have been time spent playing sport.
Time spent playing a video game could have been time spent doing anything else.
In the moment it doesn’t really matter. But over time these decisions add up, and lost time is gone forever. It’s a tree never planted. You get no shade. You get no air. You get no beauty from a tree that doesn’t exist.
It is never too late, though. You can always start now. You can always do something for the first time today, to become the type of person that you want to become – and little by little, over time, it can build up to be a new skill, a new passion, a new job. A new tree.
Generosity is just like that. I have failed many times to be generous when given the opportunity. I have written people off. Not given when the chance arose and not cared when someone was in need. But that doesn’t mean I have to live like that always. I can begin again today by being generous with my time, my care and my forgiveness.
In 20 years’ time, the small decisions I make today will grow into something that will bring beauty to all who see it.