the power of a pause

If I was a younger man, I would use more commas than exclamation points, make pregnant pauses mean something more in conversation and ponder longer the silent moments I was dealt.

If I was a younger man, I would take up causes that mattered most, view my future the least and risk much more for what I believed.

If I was a younger man, my contemplations would be richer, reflections clearer, and conversations more indelible.

As a younger man I would spend more time writing poetry, longer notes on greeting cards, and make more calls to those I love for no particular reason at all.

My friends would be closer, my enemies further, and my heart much softer as a younger man. I would listen to older men more, memorize better quotations, create more memories, and remember more of what was most important.

Everything I’d do would be taken down a notch or two, time would be much more precious, and life would boil down to a single purpose. And I would do it today instead of tomorrow, look at the big picture,
and take more snapshots on the way.

The clock would pale in significance and my “I” would be much less important than my “you.”

As a younger man, my gains would be more intangible, my virtues more apparent, and my focus more intense. I’d play more, give more,
and say more thank you’s to complete strangers for their unacknowledged acts of valor.

I would pet more puppies, take longer walks, and pause a few more times to see smaller things around me in bigger ways. And I wouldn’t be afraid to cry.

I would be an older soul in a younger body, chasing more inventions, reading more genres,
and blazing more trails for younger men to follow.

I would scour the dictionary for just the right word, enter more contests, and share more of my winnings with strangers.

I would edit less, listen more, and use smaller words to say the same things to more people so they could understand the wisdom of men much older than them.

And maybe then, the younger men would see the value of using commas more, exclamation points less, and the perfect power of a pause.