Matthew Emerzian, a successful music industry executive in Los Angeles, was walking back to his office with a co-worker one afternoon in 2004 when he stopped to pick up a plastic fountain drink cover from the sidewalk and put it in a nearby garbage bin.
"My co-worker quickly asked me what I was doing," Emerzian recalled. "I explained what I thought to be the obvious, but apparently I was wrong." To the co-worker, litter simply belonged to the litterer, not to the population as a whole.
"I explained to him that litter and pollution are everyone's problem not just the person who couldn't find the trash can for their cup lid. He profoundly responded with 'Dude, you're weird.'"
Emerzian, now 38, walked back to his office both angry and sad.
"I couldn't believe that someone could remove themselves so far from the greater good of our world."
Matt began to think, 'what if everyone in the country picked up one piece of litter on the same day.' Or 10 pieces! The math was easy, yet so powerful. He then began to think of a few other easy things that 300 million Americans could do to make a difference.
From this, a great idea was born. He called his friend, Kelly Bozza, and told her that he wanted to write a book about how all of us can make a difference with our lives. Within a week, they had over 100 items on their list and were ready to start writing.
Their book, titled Every Monday Matters...52 Ways to Make a Difference, has sold 120,000 copies. The ideas are simple - small acts that collectively add up to an enormous impact for the greater good.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, "Everyone has the power of greatness; not for fame, but greatness. Because greatness is determined by service."
Today, to celebrate the release of Simple Truth's new Movie,
Every Monday Matters
If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,400—with no balance carried from day to day—what would you do? Well, you do have such a bank...time.
Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off as "lost" whatever you have failed to use toward good purposes. It carries over no balances and allows no overdrafts. You can't hoard it, save it, store it, loan it or invest it. You can only use it—time.
Here's a story that drives the point home.
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Arthur Berry was described by Time as "the slickest second-story man in the East," truly one of the most famous jewel thieves of all times. In his years of crime, he committed as many as 150 burglaries and stole jewels valued between $5 and $10 million. He seldom robbed from anyone not listed in the Social Register and often did his work in a tuxedo. On an occasion or two, when caught in the act of a crime by a victim, he charmed his way out of being reported to the police.
Like most people who engage in a life of crime, he was eventually caught, convicted and served 25 years in prison for his crimes. Following his release, he worked as a counterman in a roadside restaurant on the East Coast for $50 a week.
A newspaper reporter found him and interviewed him about his life. After telling about the thrilling episodes of his life he came to the conclusion of the interview saying, "I am not good at morals. But early in my life I was intelligent and clever, and I got along well with people. I think I could have made something of my life, but I didn't. So when you write the story of my life, when you tell people about all the burglaries, don't leave out the biggest one of all... Don't just tell them I robbed Jesse Livermore, the Wall Street baron or the cousin of the king of England. You tell them Arthur Berry robbed Arthur Berry."
Here are six terrific truths about time:
First: Nobody can manage time. But you can manage those things that take up your time.
Second: Time is expensive. As a matter of fact, 80 percent of our day is spent on those things or those people that only bring us two percent of our results.
Third: Time is perishable. It cannot be saved for later use.
Fourth: Time is measurable. Everybody has the same amount of time...pauper or king. It is not how much time you have; it is how much you use.
Fifth: Time is irreplaceable. We never make back time once it is gone.
Sixth: Time is a priority. You have enough time for anything in the world, so long as it ranks high enough among your priorities.
What you've just read is an excerpt from Every Monday Matters by Lewis Timberlake. This book has everything you need to energize your life—reflections, stories and quotes that'll lift your spirits and lighten your load. His insights on more than 50 topics will help you to turn your life around...one day at a time.
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Every Monday Matters