There is a species of the mayfly, the Dolania americana, that has the shortest lifespan of any creature.  The female will deposit her eggs and die within five minutes of emergence.  It is believed to be the shortest adult lifespan of any insect.  Five minutes is not a lot of time.  It has taken me longer than five minutes just to write this paragraph.  (In fairness, my daughter is in the office today, so… anything is going to take longer than five minutes this morning.)

We think of five minutes as almost a throw-away time.  You need to waste five minutes? No problem.  Just check Twitter or Facebook, and that will eat up five minutes in a heartbeat.  Yet, for the Dolania americana, five minutes is a lifetime.  It’s all about perspective, isn’t it?

The life expectancy for a person in the United States is 78.74 (at least, that’s what Google told me).  How many different five minute segments do we have in life?  Well, according to… math… that over 8 million five minute segments that one person can expect.  Again, for us, five minutes isn’t that big of a deal… or is it?  Ask anybody that has lost a loved one – five more minutes would make a difference.  For some, five more minutes is all they would ask for.

Five minutes seems like a small, insignificant period of time… until it’s not.

What are you doing with your five minutes?

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