Every Second Counts

Danielle - Bend, Oregon
Entered on May 11, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Life is full of change, a natural occurrence of time. In just one second anything can happen; I believe that the unknown future is a mystery being solved with each passing second. I believe that every second is a piece of the whole, with each contributing to the joy, anger, love, sorrow, peace, fear and passion that piece together to form life. I believe that life is only as meaningful as the seconds of which it is composed. One second doesn’t seem like much compared to an entire life, but over the course of years, the seconds add up. Every second counts. This I believe.

Just over a year ago, I didn’t think that just one second held any importance. I didn’t think it was a big deal to waste an hour watching a dull T.V. show. I figured as long as it was not the majority of my day, it didn’t matter; it was an infinitesimal amount of time that wouldn’t affect my life. I didn’t think that one second had any influence, at least not until my dad started racing.

I watched from the stands at Portland International Raceway, waiting to signal my dad when the green flag dropped. I hit the button on the radio and heard the beep, beep, beep, beep as I spotted the grass-green Mazda Miata speeding down the track. I watched as he fought to move up a position while, lap after lap, the gap between him and the front runners lengthened. Later that day I walked down to get the final race results. His fastest lap was 1:32.79, less than a second behind the driver in first place, yet my dad finished in sixth. It didn’t seem like it would make a difference, but in racing, one second is indescribably huge. In that moment, as I compared my dad’s fastest lap to those of the front runners, I realized how substantial a single second could be. One second per lap differentiated the front runners from the mid-pack; one second is all it would have taken to move my dad from sixth place into first.

Now I understand that although such a miniscule amount of time as a second seems irrelevant, over the period of a twenty-five minute race, it makes an unmistakable impact. Every second of life is significant. This is something that I now try to live by; wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I want not a single second to go to waste. I believe each second contained in life should be acknowledged. I believe that one second is the foundation of life, whether it consists of taking in a breath, a falling tear or passing the checkered flag at the end of a race. Whatever I choose to do, it is up to me to make the most of every second of today to shape the future of tomorrow. I believe that every second counts.