Trivial Time

“The ratio of We’s to I’s is the best indicator of the development of a team.”

 — Lewis B. Ergen

Quick, what was the name of the first non-communist party labor union in the former Soviet Union?

IMAG4027I was asked that yesterday when I walked into a high school classroom because I went in not only as a parent chaperone, but as living history.

There was time to kill before the busses left on our field trip, so the kids were all enjoying a bit of downtime. Many were talking, some were drawing, and a few were playing a game, Time.

Since my son was a part of that group, I went over to watch as unobtrusively as possible. But instead of being shunned as an intruder, the kids invited me to play.

“Dad, you should be good at this,” my son said.

— Translation, “Dad, you’re old and know a lot of trivia that we teens don’t care about.” —

After sitting down, my first question was, “In what prison did over 30 prisoners die in a riot in 1980?”

“Uhhhh.”  was my clever response.

“In 1924, what city’s name was changed to Leningrad?”

“St. Petersburg!” I declared triumphantly.


This was the way it progressed through our short game.

Trivia is fun, at least in part, because the information is obscure. And the reason it’s obscure is because most of us aren’t directly involved with those events.

However, there are a lot of trivial things we do remember. Grandpa’s favorite coat, the Christmas dinner menu from 1977, the name of the bank at which your mother worked. We remember because we were involved, and made a connection with those things over time. And more importantly, we made connections with those people because we gave them our time.

Though sad, it probably has little meaning to most of us that a prison riot in New Mexico State Penitentiary killed over 30 prisoners. And few remember that Petrograd had been the temporary name of St. Petersburg in 1924 before it was renamed Leningrad.

The connections we make with the people around us are what is memorable. Our connections, our support for each other, and our …

… Solidarity.

And that, not coincidentally, is the answer to the question.

Yesterday’s gift of time … Chaperoned the high school kids to see a play (A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Portland Center Stage) and played a game of time.

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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