Morning Joe | November 20, 2012
>> day. hundreds of thousands of small businesses are preparing for november 24, a day to open doors , and welcome the millions of customers who will turn out to shop small. small business saturday. visit shopsmall.com and get ready. because your day is coming.
>>> "the new york times" best-selling author mitch albom . "the timekeeper."
>> a fascinating story. tell us about it. tell us about father time .
>> well, it seems to me that everybody is so obsessed with time, and nobody has enough of it. we have all the devices that we seem to need to be more efficient. everybody is running out. as i did with the five people you meet in heaven, i tried to take a big idea and do a bit of a magical modern day fable about it. in my story i followed the very first guy to invent time. somebody started count iing and ruined it for all of us. at some point we didn't start time. now we never stop.
>> and he's not exactly thanked by humanity for his invention.
>> no, he's not 0s, he's punished for counting the minutes and he's sent to a cave where he his to live for eternity listening to all the people complaining about time.
>> how they want more time.
>> when it seems he's learned his lesson that you're not supposed to count the hours, you are supposed to make the hours count, he's sent back to earth as a father time figure in our year now and sees this world of digital clocks and atomic clocks and everybody with a pda.
>> and he's given an hourglass. and he has to find two people, very young teenaged girl and a very old, rich tycoon, and he has to teach them the real meaning of time is. and if he does that, he's finally freed from his purgatory. through this i try to make the point that, you know, we are so busy looking at our watch and checking how fast things are going and being more efficient, but we're not recognizing the true value of time is you have to make your decisions and each day count for it. otherwise you could live forever and it won't make much of a difference.
>> and we lose the bigger perspective.
>> there's a moment where he sort of says to this old tycoon who is thinking of freezing himself and coming back 100 years later when he can have a whole other life because this life wasn't enough for him. let me come back and do it again. and father time figure says you can't do that. there's a reason that your days are limited on earth. and this guy can't understand why. why would our days be limited? and the answer is, to make each one of them precious. and when you think about that, it really is sort of a beautiful, tragic equation of life that if we live forever , nothing would really matter because you can do anything you want. you could be a good guy for a million years and a bad guy . you could try anything. but because we have limited time and you never know if today is our last day, what you choose to do on that particular day or all of them together is what determines the quality of your life.
>> and it forces you to stop and look at the sunset and realize you are not going to see sun sets for all of eternity. you are not going to get an opportunity to be kind and help people and this comes out of personal experiences for you which sounds sort of familiar with me, my dad passed away a year, a year and a half ago, and it was the first time after it happened i stopped and go, wait a second, i'm not going to live forever . you sit there and you start calculating maybe i have another 20, 30, maybe 40 years but, my god, 40 years ago, you know, it's --
>> even that is the map of your life. what's ten years worth or what's 20 years worth? and i went through that with my folks suffering mental health and i'm sure this wasn't what they planned in their later years and you think about your own time and you say, wow, you know, i'm starting to look back on what i've done instead of looking forward to what i'm going to be able to do.
>> so sort of a role reversal here but, you know, you are like the king of special messages, seriously. you really help people. do you ever just want to throw it away for five minutes and just sort of, i don't know --
>> i do.
>> sports journalism .
>> be a sportswriter.
>> i saw you eating a hunk of cheese.
>> i'm sorry. i've had bourbon. it's the bourbon talking.
>> this from a woman eating cheese --
>> and drinking bourbon this morning.
>> can i ask a sports question? i'm not going to do what i'm entitled here lord over the giants total dominance. i'm not going to do that because i'm kind and generous. i do think we missed an opportunity because mitch albom is here and we just had nate silver . the public champion of mike trout, stat driven baseball geek. mitch just wrote a column the other day saying that miguel ka brother a's victory is a titanic defeat for all people like nate silver . i want you to talk about why the losers --
>> people like nate silver -- i didn't name him at all.
>> you said baseball stats .
>> i said there's a difference between sort of what you see with your eyes, which we watched all year long with miguel cabrera who delivered in the clutch constantly and delivered an aura around his team versus a statistic of how many times against right-handers with two men on base did a guy hit one to the power alley.
>> that's what i mean.
>> there's a point at which you can overstatistics anything.
>> sometimes lie to us.
>> where is nate silver ? bring him back out.
>> who won?
>> did he win by a landslide?
>> the thing is it's fascinating this on going debate about numbers versus -- but there's a real sort of break in baseball between these two camps.
>> i think it's all of sports. there's a point at which i go back to when you just went to a game and enjoyed watching the game and got into the competition. i didn't mean to own my own team on a piece of paper and that became the shadow game . and so maybe i'm more old-fashioned that way.
>> you don't play fantasy sports ?
>> i do not.
>> speaking of timekeepers, mike barnicle just e-mailed and he says hello.
>> yes, where is mike, my guy?
>> he's sorry he can't be here.
>> very nice things to say about the book.
>> the new book "the timekeeper.