People Magazine, David Cassidy, and time (the great equalizer)

“So much wasted time!” – David Cassidy


Growing up in the South of England in the 60’s and 70’s, I often dreamed of visiting the United States. One of my best friends and I even researched a program where we’d spend a year of high school in four different U.S. cities. We didn’t do it, but we had already picked up a fair idea about life (or so we believed) the other side of the Big Pond via the shows we watched on television.

Some of the educational studies that cued us in to contemporary U.S. culture included watching multiple episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.EKojak, Ironside, Columbo, The Monkees, and The Partridge Family.

It’s probably been decades since any thought about my boyhood view of America entered my consciousness – but then I picked up a copy of People Magazine in the doctor’s office and found myself reading an article about David Cassidy (he died in November). The Partridge Family show ran four seasons – 1970-1974 – then Cassidy continued performing and acting another 40 years.

3c4de754d618b0742fb2058eff08afdf--david-cassidy-classic-songsCassidy was a cultural icon, a teen heartthrob, and a mega-star for just a short time. He was married three times, had two children, was often estranged from his family, and struggled with drug and alcohol abuse his entire life. He was arrested multiple times for DUI and repeatedly tried rehab to get himself back on track.

Essentially, the guy who every girl adored and the whole world loved – the guy I envied when I was a teen – never really enjoyed the things that have made my life so full with love and meaning and significance: a committed, faithful, adventure in marriage; a daily walk with God; deep longterm relationships with my children; investment in so many amazing people through the faith-communities we have served; a daily sense of confidence that I am loved and living a full and abundant life.

The reason I’m writing on this subject is a quote from Cassidy’s daughter, Katie: “My father’s last words were ‘So much wasted time’.”

David Cassidy And Tai Beauchamp Visit Hollywood Today Live
David Cassidy

When I am sixty-seven years old – which at 61 is coming up in the not too distant future – I want to look in the rear-view mirror and see nothing but fully engaged time. Of all the resources potentially available, time is the most evenly distributed. Cassidy may have had the world at his feet when he was 20-years-old, but each and every day he had exactly the same amount of time at his disposal as the rest of us.

Of all the resources potentially available, time is the most evenly distributed.

Today I got up a little earlier than usual, and I had a pot of coffee ready to go by 6:10. Then, stretched in front of me, the exact same apportionment of hours, minutes, and seconds as all the rich, the entertainers, the politicians, the “successful”, the healthy, the sick, the poor, the young, and the old…

The real question is – and for you too – “What am I going to do with this amazing gift?”



  1. Derek,
    Great post about the importance of time and priorities. This post really got me thinking about keeping the main things, the main things. I really feel as though your writings are a breath of fresh air to many tired souls. I was wondering what are some of the spiritual practices that you engage in? Such as sermons and devotionals that have been been life giving for you?

    Thank you for all that you do,
    Aaron V. Lopez

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your good words, Aaron.
    I like your question. I may answer it in the form of a blog post in the next couple of days.
    I appreciate your encouragement – Derek


  3. “To quote an author well known to both you and I, “all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” May we chose wisely!


  4. I don’t think David failed to value time. He wanted the same things everyone wants. BONUS : he just wanted to make people happy. He said if someone wanted to see him? He’d be there. That alone took up alot of time. You fail to see the value in that selflessness? That’s one thing he did with the amazing gift of time. You can’t compare yourself to him. I don’t know you and I know you both lived very different lives. I imagine most people have similar thoughts/ statements at the end of life. Don’t take his last words to somehow diminish him and elevate yourself. It’s embarrassing.


    • Thanks for your contribution to the conversation- I’ll approve your comment because you are obviously thinking deeply about this. But i’m Confused about how my reflection attempts to elevate myself? We all have the opportunity to either live fully or to make poor choices.. it’s always an important question.


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